Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13: Acts 22

Acts 22

So Paul traveled to Jerusalem and was careful to not offend his former brethren. But some conflicts are unavoidable and eventually a mob forms. It gets so raucous so fast that the local Roman soldiers have to take control. Paul is escorted to the barracks but just before he gets there he asks if he may speak to the crowd. When Paul speaks to the mob he gives his testimony in a way that would not offend them. Here are a few ways in which he did that:
  • He spoke in the language that they would understand, which was Aramaic, or possibly Hebrew.
  • He mentioned that they were zealous for God, which would have been a compliment.
  • He characterized Ananias as a devout observer of the law and respected by the Jews in Damascus instead of saying he was a Christian.
The crowd listened to Paul very intently, in stark contrast to the mob mentality that brought them there. It was almost as if they were willing to hear about Jesus. But when Paul explains that God sent him to the Gentiles, it hits the fan. The crowd's immediate response was, “Rid the earth of him. He’s not fit to live!” This was their reaction of the Gentiles having faith in God? Crazy. And Paul is about to be flogged by the soldiers until he lets them know that he’s a Roman citizen. This quickly stops the soldiers and Paul is unchained. The centurion (captain) decides that Paul needs to be on trial with the Jewish council. Next week we’ll see him before the Sanhedrin (which was a gathering of Jewish religious authorities).

Have you ever told anyone your testimony (how you came to know Jesus)? If you're not a Christian, have you talked to anyone about Christianity and why you're interested in it? An honest confession done in an easily understandable way is generally appreciated. And what Jesus has done in your life he can do in others’. Make sure you are ready and willing to share what Jesus has done in your life.

- Written for Verve by Mike Zimmerman