Acts chapter 16

Paul and his team goes on a second missionary journey. In Macedonia, they evangelize. Lydia of Thyatira and a jailer convert to faith in Jesus Christ.





VERSE 1. He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek.

Timothy. This is the Timothy we know of from:


VERSE 2. The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him.


VERSE 3. Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Paul wanted to have him go out with him. Paul’s missionary team included Paul and Silas. If Timothy joined, there would be three.

he took and circumcised him. This is unexpected. Paul circumcizes a Gentile believer?


VERSE 4. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.


VERSE 5. So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.


VERSE 6. When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.


VERSE 7. When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn’t allow them.


VERSE 8. Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.




VERSE 9. A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Acts of the Apostles and from the entire Bible.

A vision appeared to Paul in the night. Yes! Here is the guidance they need.

Come over into Macedonia and help us. The vision is clear and distinct.


VERSE 10. When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Acts of the Apostles and from the entire Bible.

immediately we sought to go. They acted on the perceived will of God with haste.

the Lord had called us to preach. They take this as it being God’s will for them to evangelize in Macedonia.

These two verses give us a valuable insight into the Christian life. Paul and his team act as if two things are normal in the Christian life:

  1. They go
  2. They evangelize

The only thing that prevents them is when the Holy Spirit explicitly says no.

In our day, most of us have it backwards. We stay, unless God forces us to go.




VERSE 11. Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis;


VERSE 12. and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.


VERSE 13. On the Sabbath day we went outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.


VERSE 14. A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us. The Lord opened her heart to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.


VERSE 15. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

she and her household were baptized. Lydia of Thyatira is the first documented convert to faith in Jesus Christ in Europe.




VERSE 16. As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.


VERSE 17. Following Paul and us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!”


VERSE 18. She was doing this for many days. But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour.


VERSE 19. But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.


VERSE 20. When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men, being Jews, are agitating our city


VERSE 21. and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

advocate customs which it is not lawful. This accusation was not true.


VERSE 22. The multitude rose up together against them and the magistrates tore their clothes from them, then commanded them to be beaten with rods.


VERSE 23. When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely,


VERSE 24. who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.




VERSE 25. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

praying and singing hymns. After being stripped and beaten with rods and then imprisoned, Paul and Silas do not give up. Here they are, chained and bleeding, awake at midnight, singing hymns!

Job 35:10. But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,


VERSE 26. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were loosened.


VERSE 27. The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.


VERSE 28. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”


VERSE 29. He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas,


VERSE 30. brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


VERSE 31. They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Acts of the Apostles and from the entire Bible.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul and Silas tell this to their jailer. It is very clear. It is very simple. They do not mention anything about earning or merit or works or obeying rules or attending church or receiving sacraments.


VERSE 32. They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.


VERSE 33. He took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.


VERSE 34. He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.




VERSE 35. But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, “Let those men go.”


VERSE 36. The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out and go in peace.”


VERSE 37. But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!”

Paul said to them. Paul stood up for himself, even though he inconvenienced other people.

Some Christians find it very difficult to stand up for themselves, especially if it is inconvenient other people. However, this verse is a great reminder for such believers to stand up for self.


VERSE 38. The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,


VERSE 39. and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city.


VERSE 40. They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia’s house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, then departed.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.