Ruffians, Rascals And Loungers
“But the unbelieving Jews were aroused to jealousy, and, getting hold of some wicked men (ruffians and rascals) and loungers in the marketplace, they gathered together a mob, set the town in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring [Paul and Silas] out to the people.” Acts 17:5 Amplified Bible
Paul and Silas had taken the gospel of Jesus into the Synagogues as they traveled, and they were winning converts from among the Jews. This caused the Jews to respond with jealousy and anger. They could not refute the truth of the Word so they stirred up the city in anger against the followers of Jesus. They went to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas and with the intention of bringing harm to them. Look at the type of men the Jews used to persecute the young believers of Jesus with Paul and Silas. The Amplified Bible calls them “ruffians, rascals and loungers in the marketplace”. These are the unproductive men if you will, the “low end” of society. These are people that do nothing productive in life, but they will use force to disrupt what they do not understand or what puts their unproductiveness in a bad light.
When you get attacked in your service to Jesus, usually those attacks come from these types of people. They are bullies, nefarious individuals or people who serve no productive purpose in society. They just lounge around attacking those who do. They pontificate and obstruct when others attempt to do good, but they can offer nothing of their own. They are only good at tearing down, they know nothing of productivity. They are simply “nare do wells” so don’t be intimidated by them. This is how they operate. Just like in Paul and Silas’ day, they bully and obstruct because that is all they have as weapons in their warfare. You have the power of the Word and the liberty that it brings, just as it did for Paul and Silas.
I wrote devotionals for a religious website every two weeks. There was an opportunity for others to respond to what was written. After every devotional was posted there were responses from two individuals each time. They were always quick to dispute what I had shared and even mocked what I had written. This happened every time. It costs nothing for ruffians to attack others, offering nothing of their own, they simply attack to intimidate.
Do not be intimidated when the ruffians, rascals and loungers attack you for serving Jesus. They are not your problem, or even worthy of your attention. Keep your attention on the work of serving Jesus and Jesus will take care of the ruffians. They are His problem, He only needs us to keep listening, obeying, and doing His work. If we do this with our eyes on Him and not the rascals, we will continue to win the heart and lives for Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler