Kneeling to God, standing to men- Tuesday, 6th Week of Easter – Acts Acts 16:22-34

Even though today’s pericope begins at verse 22 and end at 34 it is better if one reads the entire section from verse 16 to 40 in order to get a better understanding. The Acts of the Apostles records the second incident that takes place in Philippi.

Paul and Silas are once again on their way to pray at the very area that they met Lydia (of the previous narrative) This time they are followed by a slave girl who has the ability of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by telling peoples fortunes.

It is she who proclaims that Paul and Silas “are slaves of the Most High God” and we are told she does this for many days, following them around. As a consequence, Paul in annoyance casts out in the name of Christ, the spirit that dwells within her making her unable to tell peoples fortunes anymore and thus causing a huge loss to her owners.

Why does Paul get annoyed? There is no reason for him to be annoyed because she is following them, after all she hails them as “slaves of the Most High God”, a title found often in Luke-Acts ( Luke 1:31,35,76 etc) The answer is found in the second part of her address for she then goes on to say that Paul and Silas “proclaim a way of salvation” Clearly, the words “a” way suggest that this is on one of many ways to be saved and not “ the way” of salvation and Paul and Silas preach only  a way to salvation, namely Jesus.

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