Daily Thought for: 2nd December

SILAS—THE SUPPORTIVE MAN

Acts 17. 1-15; 18. 1-18

Silas’s first and, as far as we know, his only missionary journey continued to supply him with contrasting situations as week followed week. From Philippi the group of itinerant servants pressed on, ultimately reaching Thessalonica. They spent at least three weeks in that strategically important city opening and alleging the core truths of the gospel. What a thrill when at least three strands of Thessalonian society trusted Jesus as Saviour and Lord and ‘consorted (threw in their lot) with Paul and Silas’! A perusal of the two letters to the Thessalonians gives a glimpse of some of the precious truths they were able to impart to them. Although only mentioned once, how vital Silas would have been in the teaching-input in this local church. How thankful Paul would have been to have his support in this vital work. 

Unfortunately, due to opposition from unbelieving Jews, it was necessary for the brethren to move on, stopping next at Berea. What a reception from the open minded locals; they showed a readiness to receive the word and a preparedness to search the scriptures to substantiate what was being taught them. Increasingly we see why a man of the calibre of Silas was needed to accompany Paul. These new converts needed teaching and grounding in their faith, and Silas was the right man for the job. Not only so, but he would also be vital in helping Timothy and other fellow travellers to rightly divide the word of truth. Paul held no monopoly of teaching and would have been glad of Silas’s company. Then, when Paul was sent away from Berea, he would be happy to leave the believers in the capable hands of Silas and Timothy. 

The fact that Paul valued Silas, with Timothy, is underlined by his sending for both of them once he was settled in Athens, v. 15. By the time they reached Paul he had moved to Corinth, 18. 5, and their arrival and support prompted him to press home in the synagogue the fact that ‘Jesus was Christ’, leading ultimately to the founding of this great and complex church. When eventually Paul ‘took his leave of the brethren’ it was to end a relationship he must have valued and which had been vital to the progress of the gospel and the building up of local churches. 

 

Daily Thoughts