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Acts 16

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

2 min read

Timothy, a disciple who was the son of a Jewish woman and a Greek father, joined Paul and Silas. They went to Macedonia, where they met Lydia and baptized her. Then, after freeing the spirit within a slave girl, the owners got mad (for the slave girl often brought her owners much gain through fortune-telling) and asked the rulers to put Paul and Silas into prison.

Around midnight, suddenly there was a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison which caused all the prison doors to open. The jailer thought all the prisoners had escaped and was about to commit suicide. Paul stopped him, and urged him and his family to believe in the Lord Jesus, and baptized him and his family.

Once the magistrates who jailed Paul and Silas found out that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, the magistrates apologized and let them go.

Timothy's Mixed Background

Timothy's mom was Jewish and his father was Greek. His parents' marriage was that between a Jew and a Gentile. Traditionally, Jews did not approve of marrying Gentiles. Timothy's background breaks this custom.

In addition, Paul circumcised Timothy because the Jews knew that Timothy's father was a Greek. This will help in ministry because Timothy will be able to appeal to his Jewish background customs, such as circumcision.

Salvation of The Jailer

When the earthquake opened up all the prison doors, the jailer thought for certain that he was going to lose his job and possibly be executed. So, to avoid the shame, he was about to kill himself.

But Paul assured the jailer that all the prisoners, including themselves, were still here. Wow, what obedient prisoners. Even after the floodgates have opened, they still remain within their cell. Must be an amazing image.

The jailer felt desperate, asking Paul what he must do to be saved. I'm sure the jailer only wanted to be saved from being punished by the authorities. But Paul offered so much more: salvation from Jesus Christ.

Often times, we might only want to be saved from what's immediately blocking us. Maybe we just want to do well in tomorrow's exam. Or we just can't wait until the next meal. Or we just want the weekend to come already.

But God will give us that and so much more than what we initially asked for. Yes, He will give us relief from what we believe to be our most pressing need. He will also give us salvation and eternal life, which is way more than what we bargained for.


Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!