“And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus.”
Let’s give these verses a little bit of context that will help put it into perspective. Paul and Silas, disciples of Jesus, were traveling around the world preaching the good news of Jesus after his death and resurrection. They came to the city of Thessalonica and preached there for a few weeks, which made some of the Jewish leaders angry. They started a mob and went to find Paul and Silas at the house of the man who was hosting them, Jason, but they weren’t there. That’s where our verse begins.
They take Jason and drag him out, trying to have him punished for the aid he gave these Christians. Nothing very dramatic happens to him at that time, but the Jewish leaders say something very interesting, and unbeknownst to them, something that probably came as quite a compliment. They said, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here.”
What an amazing way to be described if you’re a disciple of Christ. They were so dedicated, so consistent, so passionate about their faith in Jesus that they had gained a reputation as men who were turning the world upside down. The truth is, that’s exactly what followers of Jesus are. Christians turn all of the logic and wisdom of this world completely on its head. Now, that’s not to say that everyone who calls themselves a Christian fits that description. No. In fact, most don’t. But those who truly believe in Jesus turn the world upside down wherever they go. They spread the gospel passionately and without ceasing. They offer hope to the hopeless. They offer grace and mercy to the condemned. They forgive the unforgivable. They love the unlovable. All in the name of Jesus, and all to bring people to him. That’s what a Christian does.
Ask yourself, if you were alive then, would the way you’re living today warrant those Jewish leaders to go after you, to accuse you of following another king, to proclaim to the whole city that you’ve gained a reputation of turning the world upside down? Or would you fit in more with the crowd?
It’s never too late to start. Go turn the world upside down.
Thank you for the example of Paul and Silas living for you and spending their lives spreading the gospel of Jesus. I pray that you would breathe life and passion into your Church and that we, as Christians, would once again turn the world upside down. Help us to stop living in a religious passivity, but instead to begin living out the active faith to which we have been called.
In Jesus’ Name,