The Root of Evil
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:19-24)
If you want to know what is usually behind the social conflicts of humanity “follow the money.” This is a mantra quoted by knowing politicians and it can be applied to most human conflicts.
The Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10) That is certainly the case here. Only in this case, those who are not spiritual have rejected the faith because a woman was healed and their chances of making a profit from her were gone. In typical fashion they made a political and ethnic argument. They said, “These men are Jews.” They “are advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” In effect, they lied. Romans were very diverse in their beliefs and were known to have many exotic beliefs.
Because the money issue carried the day Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown into prison. The prison they were placed in was dank, airless, dark and Spartan. This was the way the gospel of Christ thrived and spread in the known world. It is real fact that if you want to defeat an idea you must present a better one. It is also a known principle that when people are punished for their faith, they thrive and the faith they preach often gains more credibility. The real danger Christians have to fear is being too comfortable because then they lose their awareness of their need to remain connected with the Father.