As we steam into chapter 18 of Acts we find Paul still hard at work. Three constants ring true; first, Paul continues to preach, teach and reason, second, many people commit to following the Way, third, there is constant opposition. All of this adds up to show the church of Jesus Christ was growing. It seems as though the words of Acts 2 are ringing true, "The Lord add daily to the number being saved.". What started off as a small group of people has grown considerably in just a few short years.
While the church was growing so were the struggles of the church. The established religious order was increasingly threatened by the growth of the church. No longer was religion able to control the lives of the people. There was a new way of living and being, one that did not follow the old ways. This was the source of opposition. The leaders of religion were losing power and status. The result was violence against humanity, not just those who were following Jesus, but themselves as we see here is Acts 18.
When something different is happening and growth is the result, there is going to be challenge. I continue to be amazed at how change is fought against. The pull of what has always been known is so incredibly strong. Why? It seems the more we follow God, the more we should be ready for just about anything. Throughout history when the church has become predictable, settled or even stuck, is when the mission of God has suffered. When the mission of God flourishes the result is growth of the church. At those points of being stuck, we cry out to God and God brings change and shake up, the question is, do we follow or fight?