Do Not Be Afraid
One would never have thought this of the apostle Paul. He had a stellar record when it came to proclaiming the gospel. In town after town, he testified to Jews and to any Gentiles who would listen that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He had been opposed in many places and even stoned, but he had not been deterred. After all, He had received a special visit from the Lord on the way to Damascus and been given personal instructions about proclaiming the Word.
But something happened in Corinth. Corinth, a Roman colony, center of East - West maritime commerce and thus a city of great wealth. Corinth, a cesspool of vice and immorality; home of a great temple to the healing god Asclepias; and center to the cult worship of Aphrodite. Corinth was filled with the evils of the world.
When Paul came to Corinth, he took up residence and trade with Aquila and Priscilla who were tent makers. (Read our text.) On the Sabbath, he was about his usual task of reasoning and trying to persuade those who were in the synagogue. But after Silas and Timothy’s arrival, Paul is moved in the Spirit (NKJ) to more solemnly affirm Jesus as the Christ (NAS). The opposition became fierce at this point, and Paul withdrew to the house of Titius Justus.
And despite the fact that Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, his household, and many others are baptized, Paul receives a night vision from the Lord. “Do not be afraid any longer...do not be silent;” Paul - afraid?! Afraid he would be harmed?! Paul - afraid to speak?! Evidently. Ponder it. Let it sink in. Paul had his limits. Paul was human. Paul needed some serious encouragement, and he got it from the Lord and stayed eighteen months preaching in Corinth.
We all have our limits. When you “hit the wall,” don’t quit! Seek the Lord. Get help from a brother or sister. Do not be afraid. If you see someone floundering who has “hit the wall,” pray and provide encouragement. Too many have become silent because they have become afraid. Too many. Do not be afraid. Do not be silent.