Thursday, February 21, 2008

oh, by the way

39. Acts 22

One of my favorite chapters in the New Testament.  There are many reasons I like this chapter, but mostly because it highlights one of my favorite Biblical characters, the apostle Paul.  In the previous chapters is the account of Paul saying good-bye to many of the elders and leaders in some of the churches that he had started, many of these good-byes included tears.  Paul was a compassionate man who knew what his job was and ultimately he knew that he would one day die for the cause of the gospel.  So Paul against the wishes of many of these friends goes back to Jerusalem and sure enough the people there are ready to kill him.  There is such a riot over Paul that the Romans had to intervene so that Paul would not be killed on the spot.  As they are taking Paul to prison, he asks if he could address the crowd.  First of all, if it were me I would just be glad to have escaped the clutches of the crowd.  Second, I don't think I would even think to address the crowd which was already worked up, I would rather spend time building my case which I might be able to present to the roman authorities.  Not Paul.  He seizes the opportunity to tell the gospel once again.  And he tells his story so eloquently, with passion, without compromise.  And once again the crowd begins to boil.  There is nothing that the Romans hated more was for the Jews to squabble between themselves, so they take Paul away in chains intending to have him flogged when Paul nonchalantly mentions, "Did you know you are about to flog a Roman citizen?"  Oh, by the way, I wouldn't do that if I were you.  

Oh, that we could muster up enough courage just to live even one hour of each day the way the apostle Paul lived his entire christian life.  Amazing.   

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