In Your Bible: Acts 15:36 to 16:13
Paul and Silas decided to leave Jerusalem and make a visit to believers in cities where Paul had proclaimed the word of the Lord. They found that God’s actions fulfilled his promises in Joel 2:20. New converts accepted joyfully Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The number of believers increased dramatically.
A New Assistant for Paul
In Lystra, Paul met Timothy – a Jew and a follower of Jesus. Paul treated him as a son and discipled this righteous young man. However, because his father was Greek, Timothy had not been circumcised – a covenant sign with God for the Jews. Paul circumcised Timothy to fulfill this covenant concerning all male Jews (see Genesis 17:7-14).
The Spirit Guides Paul
They passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, after being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor]; and after they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them (Acts 16: 6,7 AMP).
Note: If this seems confusing, see Romans 8:9-17 where Paul writes about the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ [Jesus], and the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead (the Spirit of God).
Next, God used a vision of a man in Macedonia who begged Paul to come to Philippi, a leading city of the district of Macedonia. Paul knew he had the call to Macedonia. He did indeed.
During Paul’s exciting second missionary journey he planted many new churches. The number of believers increased dramatically.
Prayer: Father, thank you for guiding me by your Holy Spirit in personal decisions daily. Selah.
Question: Why does Timothy’s need for circumcision seem to conflict with what Paul argued for at the Council in Jerusalem?