But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.”
I read this and my first thought was “What balls!”
Paul and Silas have been thrown into jail by the Romans. They pissed off the wrong person. They healed a slave. The slave was possessed by a spirit of divination which the master was using for their own benefit.
Paul and Silas weren’t just hauled up before a judge to be arraigned and await their trial. No, they were stripped, beaten, and then thrown into the deepest recesses of a dungeon. They were shackled into stocks.
All of this because they healed someone and pissed off the wrong person.
I know if I was in that situation I’d probably be convinced my life was over, or at least think things can’t get much worse.
Think about it. You’ve been stripped, beaten and thrown into some underground hell hole where your feet are now locked up in some primitive torture device.
No recreation time, no letter writing privileges, no work release, no cot to sleep on, no blankets, no toilets, no showers and certainly no three square meals a day.
So here you are, just about all hope is gone, and then the miracle.
The ground shakes the doors open and your legs are free.
The guards asleep and you are free to walk right out the door. Who wouldn’t bolt out of there as fast as humanly possible?
But Paul and Silas stay put.
They have faith.
They knew that the work of the Lord wasn’t complete. They stayed and saved the guard from killing himself and converted him in the process.
Now that’s pretty impressive, that’s awesome.
But the best is yet to come.
The next day the magistrate, the guy who had them beaten and thrown into jail, says to his police, they’ve been punished enough, go down in the prison and tell the guard to let them go.
Imagine if you spent the night in jail, one of our modern jails which are like a five star hotel compared to the dungeons of the ancient Romans. You were jailed without due process and you know you can’t expect to receive due process. Imagine what you would do if the guard came to the cell opened the door and said go on, get out of here, you’re free to go.
You’d be gone quicker than (insert you own witty metaphor).
You wouldn’t say, oh no, I have my principles. I was wronged and you tell that magistrate to get down here and apologize.
But that is just what Paul did.
How strong is that faith? What balls!
The magistrate didn’t know that Paul was a Roman citizen and that’s what made the magistrate realize that he had wronged Paul. But would you push the envelope on such a thin line?
They say that faith can move mountains and it sure can give you a large set of balls.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.