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Lydia of Thyatira
Bible Passage Acts 16: 12-15, 40
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Acts.

Lydia of Thyatira

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached June 7, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
12 and from there to Philippi, an important city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We were in this city for several days.

13 On the Sabbath day, we went out the city gate and walked along the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and began talking to the women who had gathered there.

14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in purple goods, was listening to us. She was a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to listen carefully to what was being said by Paul.

15 When she and her family were baptized, she urged us, “If you are convinced that I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she continued to insist that we do so.

40 Leaving the jail, Paul and Silas went to Lydia’s house. They saw the brothers, encouraged them, and then left.

 

BACKGROUND
In Luke, we begin to see the ‘we’ passages in verse 10 of chapter 16. When the missionaries left Troas, Luke, the author of the book joined them on the mission.

Luke’s home appears to have been in Philippi, the city to which the group was now heading. It seems that Philippi had few Jews and no synagogue, but a group of God-fearers met for prayer at the river bank. The missionaries joined with them and made known to them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a result, a cloth merchant named Lydia became a Christian and, through her, her household also believed.

The Romans divided Macedonia into 4 districts with different rulers. Philippi was a city in the first district in Macedonia’. It was an important city, but it was not the capital. Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia. Philippi was on a long road called the Egnatian Way. This road linked Asia with the West.

Luke writes that Philippi was a Roman colony. A Roman colony used Roman law and was governed by Romans.

There did not seem to be a synagogue in Philippi. To set up a synagogue, there had to be 10 men or more. This was a Jewish rule. But in Philippi, only women met together. They could not set up a synagogue, so they met by the river. It was probably so that they could wash themselves. This was one of God’s commands in the Jewish Law.

Paul sat down with the women and he taught them. This was very unusual because the Jews did not usually teach women. They thought that men were more clever and important.

In his gospel, Luke tells how Jesus often spoke to women. Jesus cared about women as much as he cared about men. In ancient times, people did not consider women as important, but Luke shows that women are very important to God.

Lydia had her own business. She traded in purple cloth. Purple was a very expensive colour because it was difficult to make. Purple cloth was a luxury and only rich people could afford it. So, Lydia was probably wealthy too.

‘She worshipped God’ in verse 14 means that she was a God-fearer.

‘The Lord opened her heart/spirit’ means that the Holy Spirit was working in her. When a person believes the gospel, the Holy Spirit makes that happen.

We must tell people the good news about Jesus. We may be able to do this very well. Or we may think that it is difficult to do. But we must remember this: Paul said that the gospel comes ‘not only with words. But it also comes with power, and it comes with the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

‘She and all the people in her house’ means her family. It also means the people who worked for her. She probably had a large house. So, she invited the missionaries to stay in her home. That is how the church in Philippi began. It began with just one woman, who accepted Christ as her Saviour. It grew and it became a large church (Philippians 1:1), and its members were generous (Philippians 4:15-16).

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 We must be generous and use part of what God has blessed us with to support the poor, missionaries, and the Church

🔷 Women are not less human, and must be encouraged to contribute meaningfully to the work of God

🔷 We must not hesitate or postpone receiving Christ and give our life to Him

🔷 We must all tell the good news to people in every way possible to spread the Word of God to all

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Pray for missionaries
💥 Pray that the Church will expand

CONCLUSION📙
God accepts every heart that is dedicated to Him. Women are equally created in His image and are part of the salvation plan of God. Our wealth should be made God’s so we can receive even more than what we have.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections