Turned Upside Down
Acts 17:5-6 (ESV) – But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…”
The gospel turned my world upside down over twenty years ago. I was in the Army living my life. I was a fun person and kind to others, but I wasn’t living for the Lord. My girlfriend, now wife, came to faith in Christ. She got baptized. I was happy for her but was not in the same place as her. I didn’t attend church or read my Bible at all. Then one of my roommates told me about a book (Left Behind) that was popular, and we read it together. I have issues with some of the theology in the book today, but the Lord used that book to cause me to examine my life. After Katrina’s conversion, then reading the book, I started reading the Gospels on my own. I couldn’t get enough. My eyes were opening to who Jesus was. Before long, my whole life was different.
My world changed when Jesus truly became the center. This story has played out for countless others too. When Christ enters a person’s life, everything changes. As the number of people who experience this grows, cities change, and even the world.
Our passage today captures such a sentiment. We read in Acts 17:5-6, “But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…’”
The gospel in Thessalonica was taking ground. Many Jews and Gentiles believed. But jealous Jews began causing issues, even arresting one of the believers named Jason. The complaint of the crowd was, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…” The word of how the gospel was transforming lives and communities made its way to Thessalonica. The last thing these jealous Jews wanted was for it to happen in their town. But that is the power of the gospel. It transforms. It doesn’t merely help individuals navigate life. The implanted Word goes into the core of their heart and works its way out to every sphere of their lives. The result is a person that looks completely different than before meeting Jesus.
The gospel is still the power of God to save today. It still possesses the power to transform lives and cities. The gospel is still capable of turning the world upside down. May He do it.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why are these Jews in Thessalonica jealous?
- What evidence in your own life have you seen the gospel transform you?
- How does this passage encourage us today about the hope we have in the world?
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