“When The Lord Gives You Assurance…!”(Acts 23:23-35).
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said that “change is the only constant in life.” Yes, change is always happenning and is unavoidable. However some mentalities are so deeply buried in the past, such that they fail to see even in that past indicators of the future.
Fanatics of Judaism were so blinded by prejudice that they couldn’t accept that Jesus and his followers were still following the faith of the Fathers.
While in Corinth, “the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court” before Gallio the proconsul. The charge was that Paul was “persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” Gallio dismissed the case saying, “…But since it involves questions about words and names and your law – settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things”(Acts.18:12-16).
Questions of faith are matters of life and death to those who believe, but to the likes of Gallio they are merely “such things.” While sending Paul to Governor Felix, the commander sent an accompanying letter in which he stated that the accusation against Paul “had to do with questions about law” and did not deserve death or imprisonment. Like Gallio he saw the accusation as inconsequential.
Where the Jews saw a sharp discontinuity of the old in the new, Paul saw continuity of the old in the new. In his defense he said, “I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law…and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked…”(Acts24:14-15f).“And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today”(Acts 26:6).
Paul’s accusers were blinded by their hatred and envy, such that they lost their sense of reasoning. They could not see that followers of the Way (Christians) were worshipping the God of their fathers.
God says, “See, I am doing a new thing!…”(Is.43:19). Let us keep our eyes of faith wide open so that we can easily recognise the new things God does in Christ. Let us keep the faith; and even when we stand on trial, let us defend the faith in thought, word and deed! Remember: What the Lord says he will do, he will do! He will provide for you protective custody until you reach your Rome!
Prayer: Lord, open wide my eyes of faith so that I fix my gaze on Christ the King. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev. Babila Fochang.