When it’s time to move on, Paul moves on…
Notice they were not commanded to leave Philippi but were asked by the magistrates of the city to do so. By standing for the truth of who they were in Christ, Paul and Silas had regained control over their own destiny. They had demonstrated they were not controlled by men but by God.
And so, they departed Philippi and arrived in Thessalonica after passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia.
Again, the mere fact they passed through those cities demonstrates to us they are under the control of the Holy Spirit. There is a need for the Gospel to be delivered everywhere, but the Holy Spirit will direct our focus to the somewhere the Holy Spirit desires we deliver it. We are equipped by God to reach the audience the Holy Spirit has prepared us to reach when He has prepared us to reach it.
And so, Thessalonica it is.
It is interesting by now Paul has devised a “custom” for how it is the Gospel will be delivered to the audience he delivers it to. It has become his custom to go to the synagogue, and then to teach the Word of God which speaks of the suffering of the Messiah, and of His death and resurrection for three weeks.
It was obvious – then as now – that the Jewish people who were waiting on the Messiah had completely overlooked what God’s Word declared about the necessity of the Messiah coming first to the world as a suffering Savior Who would die for the sins of the whole world. They were looking for a conquering King.
This would be news to them. And it should have been great news.
Of course, we know Jesus WAS a conquering King, but the enemy He came to conquer was death, not the Romans or some other worldly kingdom. To conquer death, the Word of God taught Messiah would suffer and die to pay the price for the sin of all mankind. This would be a much greater victory than anything the Jewish people were imagining about taking the throne in Israel and conquering all its worldly enemies.