| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 30 - Page 9 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
We do not know for certain that Sosthenes succeeded Crispus as the chief ruler of the
synagogue, but it seems probable. There is no record in the Acts of his conversion, but
the fact that Crispus and Sosthenes are both mentioned in the opening chapter of the
epistle to the Corinthians makes it appear likely.
The Apostle now turns his thought toward Jerusalem. He had set foot in Philippi, the
chief city of one part of Macedonia, he had witnessed and suffered in Thessalonica, he
had spoken both in the Agora and on the Areopagus at Athens, and had seen the triumph
of the cross at Corinth. He had encountered a good deal of opposition, but he had also
made some friends in the faith: Lydia of Thyatira, Aristarchus and Secundus of
Thessalonica, Sopater of Berea, Dionysius and Damaris, Aquila and Priscilla, Crispus
and Sosthenes--all trophies of grace and fellow-helpers in the Christian witness.
One other great city is to be visited before this second missionary journey is
concluded--the city of Ephesus, whose name is so intimately associated with the great
revelation of the Mystery towards which the narrative of the Acts is drawing steadily
nearer. It will not be long before we arrive at the prophetic foreshadowing, and then the
actual experience once more of prison, an experience from which no earthquake delivers,
and which lasts between Cęsarea and Rome for about four years. These themes we must
consider in subsequent articles, as together we follow the narrative of those things which
the ascended Christ continued to do and to teach through his servants.
#38. The Second Missionary Journey (16: 6 - 19: 20).
John's Baptism and Special Miracles (18: 24 - 19: 20).
pp. 69 - 76
With the conclusion of his ministry at Corinth, Paul now turns his face to Jerusalem.
There are two points in connection with this visit to Jerusalem that we must notice
particularly, because of the indication they give that the ground is still Jewish:
THE VOW.--"Having shorn his head in Cenchrea; for he had a vow"
(Acts 18: 18).
THE FEAST.--"I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem"
(Acts 18: 21).
It may be as well to settle one point in this connection at once. There are some
who suggest that the reversal of the order "Priscilla and Aquila" in verse 18 indicates
that it was Aquila, and not Paul, who had the vow. A knowledge of what was
incumbent upon a man who made a vow, however, makes it clear that Paul, who was
anxious to get to Jerusalem, was the one under the vow, and that Aquila, who stayed
behind, could not have been under any such obligation. The Nazarite vow, according to
the law (Num. 6: 1-21), necessitated the offering of the hair that had been shaved off,
together with a burnt offering, at the Temple. The taking of a vow of this sort was
usually a means of acknowledging some great deliverance, from sickness, or accident, or