Corinth 18 1After Athens, Paul went to Corinth. 2That is where he discovered Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, and his wife, Priscilla. They had just arrived from Italy, part of the general expulsion of Jews from Rome ordered by Claudius. 3Paul moved in with them, and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking. 4But every Sabbath he was at the meeting place, doing his best to convince both Jews and Greeks about Jesus. 5When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching, doing everything he could to persuade the Jews that Jesus was in fact God’s Messiah. 6But no such luck. All they did was argue contentiously and contradict him at every turn. Totally exasperated, Paul had finally had it with them and gave it up as a bad job. “Have it your way, then,” he said. “You’ve made your bed; now lie in it. From now on I’m spending my time with the other nations.” 7He walked out and went to the home of Titius Justus, a God–fearing man who lived right next to the Jews’ meeting place. 8But Paul’s efforts with the Jews weren’t a total loss, for Crispus, the meeting–place president, put his trust in the Master. His entire family believed with him. In the course of listening to Paul, a great many Corinthians believed and were baptized. 9One night the Master spoke to Paul in a dream: “Keep it up, and don’t let anyone intimidate or silence you. 10No matter what happens, I’m with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you. You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city.” 11That was all he needed to stick it out. He stayed another year and a half, faithfully teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians. 12But when Gallio was governor of Achaia province, the Jews got up a campaign against Paul, hauled him into court, 13and filed charges: “This man is seducing people into acts of worship that are illegal.” 14Just as Paul was about to defend himself, Gallio interrupted and said to the Jews, “If this was a matter of criminal conduct, I would gladly hear you out. 15But it sounds to me like one more Jewish squabble, another of your endless hairsplitting quarrels over religion. Take care of it on your own time. I can’t be bothered with this nonsense,” 16and he cleared them out of the courtroom. 17Now the street rabble turned on Sosthenes, the new meeting–place president, and beat him up in plain sight of the court. Gallio didn’t raise a finger. He could not have cared less. Ephesus 18Paul stayed a while longer in Corinth, but then it was time to take leave of his friends. Saying his good–byes, he sailed for Syria, Priscilla and Aquila with him. Before boarding the ship in the harbor town of Cenchrea, he had his head shaved as part of a vow he had taken. 19They landed in Ephesus, where Priscilla and Aquila got off and stayed. Paul left the ship briefly to go to the meeting place and preach to the Jews. 20They wanted him to stay longer, but he said he couldn’t. 21But after saying good–bye, he promised, “I’ll be back, God willing.” From Ephesus 22he sailed to Caesarea. He greeted the church there, and then went on to Antioch, completing the journey. 23After spending a considerable time with the Antioch Christians, Paul set off again for Galatia and Phrygia, retracing his old tracks, one town after another, putting fresh heart into the disciples. 24A man named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was a Jew, born in Alexandria, Egypt, and a terrific speaker, eloquent and powerful in his preaching of the Scriptures. 25He was well–educated in the way of the Master and fiery in his enthusiasm. Apollos was accurate in everything he taught about Jesus up to a point, but he only went as far as the baptism of John. 26He preached with power in the meeting place. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and told him the rest of the story. 27When Apollos decided to go on to Achaia province, his Ephesian friends gave their blessing and wrote a letter of recommendation for him, urging the disciples there to welcome him with open arms. The welcome paid off: Apollos turned out to be a great help to those who had become believers through God’s immense generosity. 28He was particularly effective in public debate with the Jews as he brought out proof after convincing proof from the Scriptures that Jesus was in fact God’s Messiah.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About