Looking into this character called Lydia, there a few things that I found out about her background. She was from the city of Thyatira- an ancient Greek city. Thyatira was conspicuous for its many guilds which were united by common pursuits and religious rites. One of these guilds was that of dyers. The water of the area was so well-adapted for dyeing, that no other place could produce the scarlet cloth out of which fezzes were so brilliantly and so permanently dyed. This unique purple dye brought the city universal renown. Lydia was a well-known seller of this product (Acts 16:14), and typifies a successful business woman in a prosperous city. Ability, enthusiasm, singleness of purpose and mental acumen were hers, and she prospered greatly in an honorable and extensive calling of “selling purple". Though there is no specific mention of her marital status we do know she had a household and that she greatly influenced it. The fact that she was found by the river side on the sabbath clearly signifies her hunger for deeper spiritual experience and perhaps Paul was sent there as an answer to her prayers. Though there isn't much description about this woman but the most important facet of Lydia's character was her mind to serve those who serve the Lord... hospitality was the most brightest feature of her nature. Many Christian theologians are of the belief that she was really well to do financially. And her willingness to serve the Lord with all that she had and opening her home for Paul and Silas and in other words for the Lord (Acts 16: 15, 40) is something that left a deep impact on my mind.
Moving on to Jason, he's another character about whom we are informed very little by Luke. But even that little information is enough to look into this man's heart for the Lord. Jason suddenly appears in the story in Acts 17 as Paul’s host in Thessalonica. Since he hosts Paul, Silas, and Timothy in his home, commentaries often assume he was prosperous. Jason was able to post bond not only for himself but also for Paul and Silas (17:9). In the oft-quoted opinion of A. N. Sherwin White, “What is happening to Jason is clear enough: he is giving security for the good behaviour of his guests, and hence hastens to dispatch Paul and Silas out of the way to Beroea, where the jurisdiction of the magistrates of Thessalonica was not valid”. Although we have no clue how much was required, that he could make any sort of payment is an indication he had some wealth.
Apart from the obvious similarities of both Mr. Fernandes and my name being Greek and from the same book in the Bible (back-to-back), this discovery of a new similarity has set me thinking. This similarity being both of them opening their homes for the Lord and His servants. Luke may be drawing a parallel between Lydia in Philippi and Jason in Thessalonica. Both respond to the Gospel and host Paul’s ministry team in their homes. Luke often uses pairs of similar stories, one featuring a female and the other featuring a male. For example, in Acts 9:32-43 Peter heals Aeneas and raises Tabitha from the dead. Perhaps Luke gives us two examples of relatively wealthy patrons who host Paul in their homes and continue to host the church after Paul leaves the city.
We have been discussing about these things often now after this enlightenment from the word of God. It is true He speaks to us from His word. But what is important is that are we willing to listen, to understand and to act. Mr. Fernandes had once pointed it out that J and L are the mirror images of each other. And now this scriptural discovery makes me think that these two characters from the Bible are also very much mirror images of each other. As a couple, in the flashy 21st century, a lot many things compete for our attention... a lot many so-called couple goals. But first and foremost, we are His children and so our couple goals should reflect the greatness of our Lord. And no, I do not agree with Shakespeare on the fact that a name is just a name... sometimes a name is one's calling in life.