23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”
25 He wrote a letter as follows:
26 Claudius Lysias,
To His Excellency, Governor Felix:
27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.
31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.
Living God’s Word: God works in unexpected and amusing ways. God could have used any one of an infinite number of methods to get Paul to Caesarea, but he chose to use the Roman army (23:23–24). God’s ways are not our ways. Ours are limited; his are not. Don’t limit God by asking him to do things your way. When God intervenes, anything can happen, so much more and so much better than you could ever anticipate. Let God amaze you with his limitless power and his creative plans.
Words to Live By: Claudius Lysias turns Paul’s case over to Felix the governor. All circumstances point to the apostle’s innocence of any crimes against the state. Life sometimes brings unjust suffering, especially to Christ’s followers. Christ’s death on the cross provides for our forgiveness when we have been unjust to others and gives us strength to bear our sufferings in His abiding grace.
Prayer: Lord, I praise You because You are just and You have justified me through faith in Jesus. Forgive me when I am unjust to others, and give me strength to bear even unjust suffering. 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.