ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 102


“The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to
the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans
to practice.”
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely
beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to
make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon
and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to
God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive
earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors
immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer
woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had
escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him,
“Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs,
what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along
with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord
with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the
night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and
everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them
into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household
rejoiced because they all believed in God.
The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let
those men go!” So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and
Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put
us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave
secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn
that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave
the city. When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home
of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once
more. Then they left town.
Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three
Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people.

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