Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. ~ Acts 17:4
Patterns emerge as Paul, Silas and Timothy visit various cities. They always visit the synagogue first to preach the Gospel to the Jews. In Thessalonica, many Jews believed as did many Greeks. As in prior stops along the way, many of the Jews who did not believe went to the marketplace and stirred up the people to the point of rioting. So Paul, Silas and Timothy departed Thessalonica and went to Berea, stopping first at the synagogue. Again, many Jews believed as did many Greeks. Just like Iconium and Lycra in chapter 14, some Jews from Thessalonica followed Paul, Silas and Timothy to Berea “agitating the crowds and stirring them up” (vs 13). Paul left for the coast (Athens) as Silas and Timothy remained behind.
I find interesting that Scripture notes for the first time in Acts that in both Thessalonica and Berea, women believed. Prior to this passage the references are simply to Jews and Gentiles (Greeks) or in the case of the prison guard in the previous chapter “he and his whole family” (16:34). In Thessalonica “not a few prominent women” (vs 4) and in Berea “a number of prominent Greek women” (vs 12) believed. Why now does Luke acknowledge this, and what makes these women “prominent” in Luke’s eyes? What is the significance now – surely women came to faith at earlier stops on the journey.
This seems to indicate that God’s plan for His church includes women as participants, not merely spectators. Did the lady believers of Thessalonica and Berea participate in the ministry? We’re not told. But they’re mentioned for a reason; God wanted us to know about them.
I’m privileged to know many women blessed with a strong Christian faith. They have much to offer. Praise God for them!
Ponder this: Who are the Christian women that have influenced your faith? Why not take a moment now to thank God for them?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, you call each of us, men and women, to serve in your Kingdom. Show us Your will, Lord, and lead us to serve accordingly. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.