Reflection on Acts 16:16-34


Read passage:


They said to him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”


A demonised slave girl follows Paul and his team, calling out a testimony that Paul has a message of salvation. Paul grows tired of this and commands the demon to come out of her.

With the spirit of divination gone, the slave now has lost her earning potential. Her owners have Paul and Silas dragged before the magistrates, who have them flogged and thrown into prison.

About midnight, Paul and Silas are praising God. Suddenly there is an earthquake and the prison doors are opened. Expecting the prisoners to have escaped, the gaoler is about to kill himself, but Paul tells him that they are all still in there. Paul then tells him the gospel, and his entire family is baptised.


When the power of the Holy Spirit is revealed, people are forced to react one way or another. Those who are in bondage to the things of the world will react with violence, but those who are looking for salvation will eagerly receive the gospel.

It is no good preaching the Good News without prayer and without the presence of the Holy Spirit. The message is just heard as a jumble of words unless the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts of the listeners. Then their whole world is shaken and put right.


Lord let me be a Paul, led by your Spirit, directed in all my paths and testifying powerfully to your salvation. Amen


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