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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Hidden Heroes: Silas

by David Chadwick

My next hidden hero is Silas.

You may have heard of Paul and Silas. Well, who was Silas? He was Paul’s second partner on his missionary journeys after Paul and Barnabas split up. Barnabas wanted John Mark to rejoin them on their second trip and Paul wouldn’t allow it. So they went different directions and Paul chose Silas, a Greek convert from the first journey.

I find Silas to be a hidden hero for many reasons, but let me share a couple that really stand out.

We don’t know much about him, but what we do know is profound. He is most noted for his presence with Paul in the Philippian prison in Acts 16:16-40. Paul and Silas were thrown in jail for delivering a female slave from a demonic spirit. They were publicly stripped, beaten, and then put in prison. Trapped and locked up in a cell, they began to pray and sing praises to God around midnight.

All of the sudden, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the prison and the doors were miraculously opened! The jailer ended up getting saved! I have tremendous respect for a man who would risk his life to stand by his friend, Paul, in Gospel ministry and for the message of Jesus to move forward in the earth. Like Paul, Silas knew how to give praise in the prison and experience God’s great power.

But I also admire Silas because of his willingness to serve and sit in a lower seat on Paul’s journeys. Leonard Bernstein, a famous conductor, once said that the most difficult position to play in the orchestra is second fiddle. To be the one who does a lot of the work, but never gets the attention requires a special person. Someone selfless, confident and willing to serve without being recognized.

This was Silas.

He was a servant who lived to support Paul’s ministry. He desired no acclaim for himself. Lived only to serve, to pray, to praise God, and to display faith in the most difficult of situations.

Because of this, the Gospel was able to be spread throughout the world!

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