Thanks for the Compliment!


When I was young, if someone called another kid a name or made fun of them one of the “go to” methods of diffusing the situation was to retort, “Thanks for the compliment!” This weak attempt at trying to turn a negative into a positive sometimes succeeded and showed the accusing party for what they were.

In this passage, after Paul and Silas stepped into the potentially treasonous territory of proclaiming a king other than Caesar, the Jews unknowingly gave them the compliments of their lives when accusing them before the city leaders, saying that they had “turned the world upside down” and that they promoted “another king” named Jesus.

  • Have you ever been accused of turning someone’s life upside down because of something you said or did? If so, what were the circumstances?


5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them (Paul and Silas) out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

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


  1. In verse 5, what motivated the Jews to form a mob and rile up the city? What was their backup plan when they could not find who they were looking for (vs. 6)?
  2. What accusations did the Jews make against Jason, Paul, and Silas? How are the accusations against the men in verses 6 and 7 an unintentional compliment to what God was accomplishing through Paul and Silas?
  3. Whose world have you been called to turn upside down by telling them about Jesus? 


So many times in life, our efforts are made with little to no perceived results. We love it when our actions truly make a difference, whatever the capacity, whether in our work, in our relationships, in acts of service, or in evangelism. Such was the case in this passage, when the Jews’ big complaints against Paul and Silas confirmed the impact of their efforts in spreading the gospel and impacting the culture of the day. They chose to follow Jesus and to proclaim the good news of his kingdom, even when it came at great cost to them and those close to them.

  • Pray about how God would use you to turn your world, or area of influence, “upside down.”
  • Pray that when people observe your life, they would see that you serve Jesus above all else.