Who Were They?
From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
Have you ever wondered what the Early Church looked like? What kind of people made up these Christian communities? What kind of work did they do? Luke gives us an insider’s look at the kinds of people that made up the church at Philippi, located in modern day Greece. The first convert was a business woman named Lydia. She sold purple cloth and was evidently very successful. She was able to have Paul and his team stay at her house and her home became the first meeting place for the Philippian Church. Luke lets us know that she, “and the members of her household were baptized.”
The next convert that Luke mentions was a slave girl. She was possessed of an evil spirit that allowed her to tell people’s fortunes. Luke tells us that she made her owners, “a great deal of money.” When Paul set her free from the evil spirit, this set off a riot in which Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail. The slave girl is not mentioned again in Acts. It is very likely, however, that the Philippian Christians purchased her freedom. We don’t know this for sure but Luke’s knowledge of the events possibly came from the girl herself.
To be continued…
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