Acts 22:22-29 Using Common Sense
22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”
23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes, I am,” he answered.
28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”
“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
Living God’s Word: Why didn’t Paul just submit to the beating? He, more than anyone, knew Jesus’ teaching regarding the blessing of suffering for Christ, about turning the other cheek, about following the example of Christ. But none of those really fit in this instance. Paul utilized common sense. He realized that this beating would serve no purpose. It’s one thing to be a martyr when you have no other recourse. But to submit to a brutal, avoidable beating would be masochism, pure and simple. As Christians in a free society, we have tremendous civic privileges: first amendment freedoms (speech, press, religion), library privileges, voting rights, and the chance to run for public office, to write letters, march, and even protest! Are we making full use of these God-given opportunities?
Words to Live By: Paul’s address does not avert the crowd’s hatred. However, as a Roman citizen, he receives help from a Roman tribune. God established the governing authorities to bring a degree of peace and civil righteousness to our troubled world. However, our ultimate hope is in the Lord. Christ’s Gospel brings eternal peace and righteousness before the highest court: heaven.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me righteousness before God. Teach me to forgive those who falsely accuse me. Help me also not to accuse anyone falsely. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.