When they could not find them [Paul and Silas], they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city magistrates, shouting, “These people who have been creating a disturbance all over the world have now come here.” ―Acts 17:6
Jason must have been aware of the many people in his hometown of Thessalonica who feared and despised the numerous Christians spreading throughout the city. However, the risk of ostracism didn’t threaten Jason; his heart was unconditionally open to truth, and he felt an intense tug to follow the teachings of Jesus. Jason bravely welcomed the Christian leaders Paul and Silas while they were preaching in Thessalonica, hoping to support their works by making them feel comfortable and appreciated.
It was during his second great missionary journey that Paul went to Thessalonica and came to know Jason. While there, Paul spent three Sabbaths at the synagogue discussing Scriptures with other worshippers and presenting clear connections between Old Testament Scriptures and the divinity of Jesus. While many Thessalonians in the synagogue were convinced and welcomed Christianity with joy, others became annoyed and aggravated.
A few intimidated citizens randomly pulled together a hapless group of men found loitering in the public square and riled them up. This outlandish group marched to Jason’s house, hoping to find Paul and Silas. Because Paul and Silas were not there, they grabbed Jason and some others instead and riotously brought them before city officials, intending to scare Jason and his fellow brethren and end Christian influence in Thessalonica. The aggressors’ outrage over Jason’s claim that Jesus was a king worked to influence the magistrates―somewhat. Jason and his friends were fined and then allowed to go home. Ultimately, however, many Thessalonians welcomed Jesus into their hearts.
Jason is said to have become bishop of Tarsus and then to have died on the Greek island of Corfu. Now, thanks to Jason having welcomed Paul and Silas in Thessalonica, many people in present-day Thessaloniki (Greece) have a great devotion to Christ. A popular stop for tourists visiting Thessaloniki is the Vlatadon Monastery, which is the believed site of Jason’s house and sometimes called “The House of Jason.” In Corfu, there is a church named after Jason, helping people remember this brave embracer of the Faith.
Bible Journaling with St. Jason
Oddly, St. Jason cannot be found in the 2004 Roman Martyrology. However, he was included in previous editions and is still embraced as a saint by most. July 12 is the traditional date to honor this holy man of Thessalonica. People in the business of welcoming or keeping guests might count St. Jason as their patron saint and turn to him in times of strife. Below are passages for a four-day Bible Journaling session with St. Jason. See how this encourager of the faith might inspire your heart.
- Day 1) Acts 17:5–9
- Day 2) Romans 16:21
- Day 3) 1 Thessalonians 1:1
- Day 4) 2 Thessalonians 1:1