Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Acts 16:16-24

"16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.

19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."

22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks."

The Possessed Slave Girl
Luke continues to use the first person (we, us) which tells us that he was an eye witness to these events. The girl's fortune-telling ability came from demon spirits. In the Greek and Roman culture this practice was common. In fact was her master was exploiting her unfortunate condition for personal gain.

What the slave girl was saying was true, even though the source of her knowledge was demonic. Paul had enough after many days of her following them and SHOUTING. The demon left her the moment Paul commanded it to leave her! Good for the slave girl. . . Bad for the master who now would not make any money off of her.

Paul & Silas, who had committed no crime and who were peaceful men, were put in stocks designed for holding the most dangerous prisioners, that is what I call persecution!

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