But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” (Acts 17:5-7)
Who Is In Your Harbor?
Paul had come to Thessalonica after his harrowing experience in Philippi, where he had been arrested and thrown into prison. Through the power of God, he and Silas were set free and the jailor and his household became disciples of Christ. Falsely accused by jealous merchants, Paul refused to go away quietly, demanding the officials personally apologize for their mistreatment, especially in light of being uncondemned Romans. The seventy-five-mile trip to Thessalonica included passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia. Paul’s custom was to find the synagogue and spend the Sabbath studying the scriptures with the people reasoning with them that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Ironically, some Jews were persuaded, but a great multitude of God-fearing Greeks also believed. This number included a few of the prominent women of the city that joined Paul and Silas.
The preaching of Paul and Silas did not sit well with the Jewish leaders of Thessalonica. They found it difficult to defend against the arguments of Paul and could not convince many to reject the teachings of Jesus. Paul and Silas were bold in their preaching and many people were turning away from the Law of Moses. The Jews became desperate. Realizing they could not attack Paul and Silas directly, they devised a most unusual plan. The marketplace was a known gathering place for unscrupulous men, troublemakers, and wicked men. Enlisting the aid of certain scoundrels, the Jews led a mob against the house of a man named Jason.
It seemed the home of Jason had been where Paul and Silas had stayed the past few weeks, but Paul and Silas were not there when the mob arrived. Not finding Paul and Silas, the Jewish leaders brought Jason and some of the other Christians before the city council members and charged them with anarchy. They admitted the preaching of Paul had turned everything upside down and caused a lot of problems in Thessalonica. The charge leveled against Paul and Silas was not for something having to do with the Law of Moses but a charge of treason against Caesar. They suggested Paul was acting contrary to Roman law and professing allegiance to another king rather than Caesar. Paul did preach Jesus Christ was king, but as the Lord taught, all men were to render to Caesar what belonged to Caesar and to God what belonged to God.
Nothing came of the charges made against Jason and his fellow disciples. They were required to post a bond and then they were released. Jason and his friends returned to their homes. Paul and Silas left that night for Berea. Nothing more is known of Jason. The church in Thessalonica becomes an example of faith and courage and the Holy Spirit preserves two letters Paul wrote to the saints. When Paul and Silas left and things settled down, the home of Jason became a bastion of spiritual strength. Jason was bold enough to be known by the Jewish leaders as the one who harbored the visiting preachers. His home was targeted as the place the mob came to mete out justice. Jason would always be known as the man whose home was used to keep the troublemakers that preached Christ was king.
A home is a place of security and comfort. When people walked by the home of Jason, what did they see and what did they think? His home was a place of note. It was a place where Christians were welcomed and harbored. Jason’s home would have been first on the list when the persecutions began in earnest years later. The hope and prayer is Jason would have welcomed being first on the list. His home was a place of worship, a place of prayer, and a known harbor for the people of God. If anyone was looking for people of the Way, Jason’s home was where they would begin.
Our homes must be harbors of faith. A harbor is a place of security and commerce. Jason was accused of harboring Christians because the community knew what kind of family lived at his home. The example set by every Christian begins at home. What do people say about your home? Is it a place they would come looking for faithful people of God and disciples of Jesus Christ? Every community must have homes like Jason, harboring godliness, truth, righteousness, and faithfulness. The world is watching. What do they see in your home?