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Acts 16      English Standard Version (ESV)


The Philippian Jailer Converted

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And here rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.



  • Paul and Silas were put in prison after casting out demon of a slave girl who had earned money for her owners by fortune-telling.
  • At night, an earthquake was so great that prison doors were opened and chains fell off the prisoners. The jailer’s terror created a readiness for salvation. And he asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (v30)?
  • The jailer was so affected by Paul and Silas’ behavior that he made his prisoners feel at home with his family. Paul and Silas baptized the family, they ate a festive meal together while nobody had any idea what would happen to Paul and Silas the next day.  What an amazing outcome out of suffering and injustice.
  • Paul and Silas speak the truth of the gospel as well as living it out. How do you give verbal and living witness to Jesus?
  • Ask God to give you courage as you step in faith to obey Him, to tell those around you about the good news that transformed your life. Continue praying for your oikos.
    • Lord, I pray that you draw ___________ to yourself.
    • I ask you, Lord, to prevent Satan from blinding ___________ to the truth.
    • Holy Spirit, I ask you to convict ___________ of sin and the need for Christ’s redemption.
    • I ask that you send someone who will share the gospel with ___________.
    • Lord, I pray that ___________ will confess Jesus as Lord, grow in faith, and bear fruit for your glory. Amen.