Acts 17

“And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.” Acts 17:9

During his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul made a stop in Thessolonica, where he preached for at least a few weeks, as we see he preached for “3 sabbath days.” vs 2. There was nothing unusual in this, and Paul just did what he always did, ” that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” vs 3. As was normal, many believed and some did not. As was also fairly normal, those who chose not to believe became angry and went after Paul and Silas. Again they followed their normal tactic of stirring up rabble-rousers and false accusation to get the civil authorities to deal with the preaching pair. In this case, the accusations were of general troublemaking, and that the two were proclaiming another king besides Caesar. This was actually a serious offense in the Roman Empire.

Evidentally, the people had reason to believe that a Jew named Jason had been housing Paul and Silas, because they went to his house and dragged him and some associates before the rulers of the city to face the previously mentioned charges. It seems like perhaps the charges could not be substantiated, but before releasing Jason, he had some others were required to post a bond or security; most likely this bond would have been forfeit had Paul and Silas continued to preach in the city. We can see in the text that, with the help of some believers, that Paul and Silas simply moved on down the line.

That’s about all we know about our friend Jason; he has one small mention later in Romans 16:21 as among the list of folks Paul offered personal greetings to as he concluded the book of Romans; evidently he was an important brother in the ministry to Paul. Other than that, however, we know nothing about Jason.

Friends, the men called to proclaim the Gospel from our pulpits are important; anybody God calls is important. We see and hear all the time of the great works done by powerful men and women of God; but, what we hear about are the ones who seem to be front and center in the proclamation of the Gospel. We don’t hear as much about the Jasons of the evangelical world, so I can’t help but think he is here to remind us all of an important thing. The ones preaching and talking matter, but so do the ones behind the scenes providing the support to make that happen. We think about the powerful words of the missionary, but do we think about the ones who provided him a place to stay? Do we think of the ones to feed him daily? What about the churches and individuals who consistently contribute to a mission so that a missionary doesn’t have to worry about where to stay or what he will eat? In some places, to support a missionary openly could have serious social and financial repercussions. When Jason put up that bond, did he know that Paul and Silas would quickly leave town? We aren’t told that, but I like to think he didn’t know but was willing to pay it anyway.

So, understand that when you make that contribution to a missionary or take him and his family out to lunch after they visit, or maybe send a small love offering to them when you can afford it, that what you do matters. If not for that and untold others, what that missionary is doing could never happen.

When we do it for God, it’s all important.