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 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 them to harm. Look at the type of men the Jews used to persecute the young believers of Jesus and Paul and Silas. The Amplified Bible calls them “ruffians, rascals and loungers in the marketplace”. This is unproductive and 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. Bullies, nefarious individuals or people are those who serve no productive purpose in society so they just lounge around attacking those who do. They pontificate and obstruct when others are attempting to do good, but they can offer nothing of their own. They are good only 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 the weapons of their warfare. You have the power of the Word and the liberty that it brings, just as it did for Pau and Silas.
I write devotionals for a religious website every two weeks. There is an opportunity for others to respond to what is written. After every devotional is posted there are responses from two individuals each time. They are always quick to dispute what I have shared and even mock what I have written. This happens 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