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Daily Living – Episode 69 – Joel Ohman

Daily Living – Episode 69 – Joel Ohman

Turning the World Upside Down

Joel Ohman

Read: Acts 17:6-7

6 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, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (ESV)

The title of the devotional today is a provocative one—”Turning the World Upside Down”—but I want us to note that this description comes directly from Scripture and is used by Jews in the city of Thessalonica to describe Paul, Silas, Jason, and other believers.

So, what exactly were they doing to receive such a description?

Let’s first make it clear what they were not doing.

If you read the verses before and after our passage to get the context—you will see words like “mob”, “uproar”, “attack”, “shouting”, and the like. Is this what Paul and Silas were doing? Were they turning the world upside down by means of force, violence, and aggression?


Verses 5-7 describe those leading the mob as jealous and wicked men.

So what were Paul and Silas doing that provoked such a strong reaction?

Quite simply: they were proclaiming the name of Jesus.


The cross.

Paul’s message has been consistent and of single purpose all along. In 1 Corinthians 1, he says he simply preaches Christ crucified. The message of the cross is simple. Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He lived the perfect sinless life we never could, died the death we deserve and took our punishment on the cross, and then rose again to give us new life and prove that He is really God.

Hard to hear if you don’t believe you have a sin problem.

And… it’s hard to hear if you are a religious person who thinks you have what it takes to relate to God on your own.

So the application for us today is this: are we provoking a strong reaction with those around us because we are faithfully proclaiming the simple message of Jesus, or are we resorting to human means to get attention?

May we not distract from the beauty and simplicity of the gospel by the very human desire to shout and yell about our opinions.

May we be patient, and pleasant, and persuasive. Then we can rest assured our message will turn the world upside down all on its own.

Our message is a simple one.

Jesus is King.