Acts 21-22 B

The soldiers who were about to interrogate Paul quickly withdrew when they heard he was a Roman citizen, and the commander was frightened because he had ordered him bound and whipped.” 22:29

I find the timing of when Paul reveals his citizenship to be very theatrical. He’s spread out and tied down, about to be beaten and whipped, and poses a very loaded question that gets him untied just in time. Paul is a calculated man, this is not luck, but instead bold scheming.

I try not to speculate too much when I come here. God’s word speaks for itself and I just want to hold up a neon lit sign and point towards it, not try to interpret it. But I can’t help but wonder what Paul was thinking. He risks his life, beyond all reason to get to Jerusalem. He introduces himself as a Jew from Tarsus (22:3) and doesn’t reveal himself as a Roman citizen until he is directly asked (22:28).

Roman citizens, especially by birth, held a coveted and favored position. They were granted rights and privileges not extended to your average Joe. Here, we see Paul escape an interrogation and a beating because of it.

Maybe the man just knew how to read a crowd, what to reveal and when, and used his social genius to figure out the best way to deliver the gospel. Whatever his plan was, it was calculated and it worked.

What privilege do you daily benefit from? Your gender? Your social class? Your race?

Maybe you’re a naturally gifted writer, or a speaker.

How can you use it to advance the gospel? Or, how does it stand in your way? 



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