1200 South Carbon Street · Marion, Illinois
Faith Development – 9:00 AM * Worship Service – 10:30 AM

May 8, 2022 – Prisoner for Christ – 4th Sunday of Easter

Acts 16:16-34 Paul and Silas in prison at Philippi, jailor and his family are baptized

Paul is on the road here. He has moved from being Saul to being Paul, and from persecuting followers of the Way to being a follower of the Way. Along with Timothy, he is traveling and evangelizing, when the come to Philippi, where a family is converted and they stay there for a few days. Paul deprives some of their values, by freeing a woman form a spirit of prophecy. That spirit had named them as disciples of Jesus, which seems to have annoyed Paul. 

The owners of the woman press charges, and they are beaten and thrown in jail, with their feet in the stocks. While they are in jail, leading a prayer group and worship service, there is an earthquake. The doors are opened and all chains are unfastened. (Similar to the Good Friday earthquake) That scares the jailer, and he is ready to kill himself – probably ahead of his bosses killing him. But despite being freed, Paul and company haven’t left. They call out and prevent the jailer’s death, and then the jailer wants to be saved – having already been saved. 

They go to his home, and speak to his household, and the whole household is baptized. Their wounds are washed, they are fed, and the house rejoices. You may hear a reversal of the Good Samaritan in this story. As stories repeat, we hear that Paul takes the same risk on the jailer that Ananais took on him. Who has taken a risk on you? Who do you take a risk on? For whom are you willing to wait when you could go? How does our freedom in Christ make us prisoners to the Gospel?

Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Illinois
Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Illinois
May 8, 2022 - Prisoner for Christ - 4th Sunday of Easter