Bridge Family Devotion (February 1, 2015)

This week, we continue our journey in the book of Acts 22 where Paul had been arrested because of the religious people accusations. Paul was speaking to the religious leaders himself when they got so mad they tore their clothes and was wanting to stone Paul. The religious leaders could not accept the truth of Jesus being the Messiah and changing Paul’s life.

Acts 22:24 The commander brought Paul inside and ordered him lashed with whips to make him confess his crime. He wanted to find out why the crowd had become so furious.

When the mob begins to get out of hand (who were religious leaders), the commander decided to save Paul’s life and took him inside and was hoping to make Paul confess of something he had done to make these leaders so furious. They had intended on whipping him until he confessed.

25 When they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?”

Paul, who at the end of his life, reminds the church at Corinth
(2 Cor. 11:24) that he had been whipped five times with 39 stripes, was about tired of being whipped so he pulls out the Roman Citizen card which would not allow them to whip him in this situation. Roman citizens could not be whipped without a trial and no one would lie about being a Roman citizen because the penalty for falsely claiming Roman citizenship was death.

Now this statement by Paul changed this ball game. They knew they could be in a lot of trouble if they whipped a Roman citizen because of accusations from the Jewish leaders or any other reason. They possibly had already bound him to beat him, when Paul told them he was a Roman citizen. Many times this type of scourging caused people to die. Paul, of course, would try anything to keep from being beaten so severely but lying was never an option.
26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!”

The centurion informed his commander of Paul’s citizenship, cautioning him against an act that could have ended Lysias’ military career – or even cost him his life.

This was the proper thing for this centurion to do. The captain certainly would not want to cause a problem with his superiors for scourging a Roman citizen without a trial. He probably enjoys being captain and does not want to endanger his job.

27 So the commander went over and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied. 28 “I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!”

Notice this; “it cost me plenty”: Roman citizenship was officially not for sale, but could sometimes be obtained by bribing corrupt officials.

It is believed that this captain wanted Roman citizenship so much that he raised a large sum of money to purchase his citizenship. You can imagine his amazement when Paul tells him that he was a Roman by birth which cost Paul nothing.

The marvelous thing is that until God is through with Paul on this earth, no one can destroy him. If he needed to be a Roman, God had made him to be one from birth. It was through Paul’s father, he was a Roman.

So it is with us as it was with Paul, we are made in Father God’s image, anointed with the same Holy Spirit and as long as we seek to fulfill our purpose in His Kingdom the protection and provision of Father God is over our lives also. No one or nothing can destroy us before our time. The Bible declares that nothing can separate us from His love; greater is He that is in us; no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Friends, our God is greater than anyone or anything that could ever come against us and we are safe as we continue pursuing His will and purpose for our lives.

Rejoice today, because your name is in the Lamb’s book of life and if it’s not then it’s a great day to accept Jesus as your Lord and Master. He will be your best friend.

Prayer Points: Father God thank you for your protection and provision as my Father. Thank you for your love and the gift of your dear Son Jesus. I want to live for you the rest of my life! Amen!