The Route that Apostle Paul Followed in Greece passes through places where the Apostle preached and forms an ideal combination of pilgrimage and sightseeing in some of the most beautiful places in Greece. His journey in Greece is a route that can touch not only the believers but also everybody who loves history.
Kavala (Ancient Neapolis)
Photo credit (conference.iabl.org)
Acts 16:10-12, NKJV
“Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.”
Paul disembarked for the first time on European soil after a journey lasting two days at Neapolis, on the site where today’s Kavala was later built.
After walking 15 km northwest along Via Egnatia from Neapolis (Kavala), they arrived in Philippi. Philippi would most likely be the first place in Europe that hosted Christian congregation.
The Philippian Jailer Saved
Acts 16:24-26, NKJV
“Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 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 chains were loosed.”
Lydia Baptized at Philippi
Acts 16:13-15, NKJV
“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.”
Photo credit (holylandphotos.wordpress.com)
Lydia was probably the first person who converted to Christianity in Europe. Although we do not know the exact location today, a small church has been built at the spot where it assumed that Lydia was baptized.