An Unlikely Protector


Despite Paul experiencing a lot of hardships in his ministry, he continued to preach the gospel in places Jesus was not known. In today’s Scripture, Paul goes on trial in Corinth and, contrary to the past, he receives a break from the government and is actually defended by the judge.

  • When has someone surprised you by defending you? Or when was a time when you defended someone else’s rights?


12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was Paul accused of doing that got him in trouble (vs. 13)?
  2. What did Paul say in his own defense? How is Paul’s right to preach Jesus defended?
  3. What would have happened to Paul’s ministry if he were convicted?
  4. Where have you been struggling to believe God is able to work? How does knowing that God can use anyone to allow for the advancement of the gospel encourage you?


In this passage, Gallio ruled that the government had no role in attempting to decide religious matters. If Gallio had found Paul guilty of the offenses, Paul’s ministry would have been severely restricted. Paul received a break, not on his own doing but from an unlikely protector. Before he could open his mouth, Gallio spoke on his behalf. In the same way, before we can open our mouths and defend ourselves before God, Jesus speaks on our behalf, counts us as justified, and provides ways for us to move his gospel forward.

  • Thank God that he is able to use everyone, regardless of how unlikely, to move the gospel forward.
  • Ask God to open doors for you to proclaim Jesus to those around you.