Paul admits the authority of James and the elders. He does what they suggest. Paul is not lawless. He is a team player. How do you react when you suffer while doing something good and right?
This passage is like a prelude to a pivotal scene in a story (and indeed, what a story is really is!).
We can imagine this on the big screen.
The mob is rampant, violence is imminent and on the cusp of full birth. Indeed, individuals within the group have already taken to beating Paul, seeking to kill him. Murder.
God ordains that the secular government intervenes.
There was such violence in the crowd, amongst the group of people gathered, that the police decided to take him into the station, the barracks.
Then the scene slows. You can see it in slow-motion.
Paul replies with clarity, and his intent and purpose is to turn and address the crowd that was moments before attempting to rip him limb from limb, tear him asunder, take his life.
What purpose is this? What intent this teaches us.
As in yesterday’s passage, we see that Paul is indeed more than willing to lose his life for Jesus. To see eternal gain in earthly loss.
Oh what a hope! Oh what a Saviour! That we would be convicted and wrapped up in such an intent and purpose as we see here in Paul.
Hallelujah, what a Saviour we have!
* Father God,
Please cause within us a similar burning of sure and steady hope, conviction, courage and purpose that we see in Paul.
And that we see more clearly and fully in Jesus, Your Son, our King.