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The Church Needs more Jasons

November 7, 2013

I have a few friends named Jason… good guys, each of whom I appreciate. Nonetheless, in His wisdom, God has placed only one of them on planet earth (and this is good). Yet as I read through Acts 16:1-10, I believe the Church would be blessed to seek out more men like Jason of Thessalonica!

First, Jason shows hospitality. The apostle Paul, along with Silas (and possibly others) were in Thessalonica for approximately three weeks (Acts 16:2) and they were likely housed at Jason’s home (v. 5). While 21st century believers appreciate Paul’s amazing contribution to the spread of the Gospel, in the first century church, he was a high impact and high risk person, especially to host. Yet Jason willingly accepted the risk and welcomed Paul into his home. As Paul preached the Gospel, Jews were persuaded, God-fearing Greeks were accepting, and prominent women responded to the call for Christ. While exciting, this varied group would be difficult to unite (or “manage”) and yet Jason allowed Paul to base his evangelistic and discipleship operations from his home, and presumably interact regularly with this diverse group of new followers.

Second, Jason took the heat. After somehow hiding Paul, Jason himself and other friends (v. 6) were dragged out to defend themselves for “hosting” Paul. They were criticized for the offenses that were actually concerns/accusations about Paul. He willingly took the heat, faced the crowd and city officials, and even posted bond (what were they “charged” with?) and carried on. That was the price to pay so that Paul & Silas could escape away to Berea and Jason willingly took it.

Meanwhile, Jason was not simply a hospitable fellow who served as the “scapegoat.” I believe he knew that his taking the heat would allow Paul & Silas the time to safely escape at night to Berea (v. 10). Jason was strategic, not blind to the realities of life and not afraid to work with other believers for the safety of these travelling preachers.

Though the church in North America seldom faces such risky situations – where an itinerant preacher must escape from the local authorities at night – there are places in the world where “Jason’s” are at work regularly. As Christians pray for the persecuted church, let us pray for more Jasons

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