Home Series: Descriptions of a Spiritual Sanctuary Part 2

7. A sanctuary of worship and prayer.
Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Act 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
Act 17:4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
Act 17:5 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.
Act 17:6 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.
Act 17:7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.”
Act 17:8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things.
Act 17:9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
(Acts 17:5-8).
“In Acts 18:3 Paul stayed and worked with Aquila and Priscilla. As tent-makers they may have rented a workshop and lived in rooms attached to the workshop. Jason’s situation may have been better in Thessalonica; if he was a craftsmen with several storerooms he could have hosted several people in his home. For an illustration of the range of homes for early Christians, see Peter Oakes, Reading Romans in Pompeii (Fortress 2009).”
“Jason was able to post bond not only for himself but also for Paul and Silas (17:9). In the oft-quoted opinion of A. N. SherwinWhite, “What is happening to Jason is clear enough: he is giving security for the good behaviour of his guests, and hence hastens to dispatch Paul and Silas out of the way to Beroea, where the jurisdiction of the magistrates of Thessalonica was not valid” (Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Oxford, 1963], 63). Jason had the means to post bail, and used his resources to further the kingdom of God and help the persecuted Apostle Paul onward in his mission.”
Also consider Lydia in Philippi in comparison to Jason in Thessalonica. Both react favourably to the Gospel and host Paul’s ministry team in their homes. Luke give us two examples of relatively wealthy patrons in the book of Acts, who show hospitality to Paul in their homes and continue to provide a venue for the church after Paul is sent onward from the city.
The literary source (hagiographic legend) of the life of Jason and Sosipater was newly edited and translated by B. Kindt as appendix to “La version longue du récit légendaire de l’évangelisation de Corfou par les saints Jason and Sosipatre,” Analecta Bollandiana 116 (1998) 259–295.
Born in Tarsus, he was appointed Bishop of Tarsus by the Apostle Paul. With the apostle Sosipater he traveled to the island of Corfu, where they built a church in honor of the Apostle Stephen the Protomartyr and converted many pagans to the Christian faith. Seeing this, the king of Corfu threw them into prison where they converted seven other prisoners to the Christian faith: Saturninus, Jakischolus, Faustianus, Januarius, Marsalius, Euphrasius and Mammius. The king had those seven put to death in boiling pitch for their faith.
The king’s daughter, the virgin Cercyra, having watched these holy apostles being tortured and turned to the Christian faith, distributed all her jewels to the poor. The king became angry and put her in prison, yet she would not deny Christ. So he had the prison burned, but she remained unharmed. Many people were baptized upon seeing this miracle. He then had her killed with arrows while tied to a tree.
Many believers fled to a nearby island to get away from the enraged king, but as he chased them, his boat sank. The new king embraced the Christian faith and in baptism received the name Sebastian. From then on Sosipater and Jason freely preached the Gospel and built up the Church in Corfu until a very old age, when they gave up their souls to God.[2]

(Web source: https://readingacts.com/2019/03/15/acts-17-who-was-jason/ )

8. A hub for divine connections. Peter and Cornelius both have visions and the Holy Spirit is poured out in a meeting in his home where Gentiles and Jews alike are gathered in Jesus’ name.
Act 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,
Act 10:2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
Act 10:3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
Act 10:4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

9. A venue to celebrate the joy of life and special occasions.
Luk 14:12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
Luk 14:13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
Luk 14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

10. A reference point for the future.
In the apostolic ministry, we often see a full circle of completion in missions and church planting. We then return to strengthen the souls of the disciples and appoint fivefold ministers and elders to carry on with the work, and we contact them on a monthly basis to celebrate the growth and to support and serve them in any way we can.
Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Act 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria
Act 14:24 And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25 Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Act 14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.
Act 14:27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Act 14:28 So they stayed there a long time with the disciples.