Today’s author is Prince of Peace’s Director of Visitation and Congregational Care.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Acts 17:1-9

“Be careful of the company you keep.” These may not have been the exact words I heard from my parents as I was growing up, but the message was clear. And I’m sure I passed the same idea on to my sons. Who we choose to associate with can make a profound difference in our lives. Even the scriptures have something to say about this: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).

In addition to the influence on our character development and success in life, the people with whom we surround ourselves often form the basis for the way we are perceived. Fair or not, others will make assumptions about us based on the company we keep.

This seemed to be the case with Jason, the man who showed hospitality to Paul and Silas while they were in Thessalonica. We don’t learn anything more about him from the text, but since Jason is a Greek name, it’s very possible that he was among the “devout Greeks” who were persuaded by Paul’s proclamation that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Messiah.

Regardless, all we know for sure is that Jason had welcomed Paul and Silas into his home. As a result, the Jewish leaders – and the thugs they had recruited to help search for Paul and Silas – attacked Jason’s house. When they did not find Paul and Silas there, they dragged Jason “and some believers” before the city authorities, shouting: “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests.”

I can’t help but wonder: Would Jason have opened up his home to Paul and Silas if he had known the implications of his decision? Ultimately, once Jason and the others posted bail, the authorities released them. Still, Jason’s home had been attacked, his reputation put into question, and his future likely compromised.

The text from Acts 17 has caused me to reflect on a couple of questions. Perhaps you’d like to ponder them, too:

  • What price am I willing to pay in order to do what I believe is right?
  • What consequences am I willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel?

“Be careful of the company you keep.” I think this advice from my parents was solid and certainly well-intentioned. But it’s also worth noting that sometimes, like Jason, being in the “right”company can bring about results we don’t see coming or require us to respond in ways we never anticipated.

Loving God, give us the discernment and courage we need in every situation to do what is good and just for the sake of the gospel. Amen.