Acts 23:12-35

by Crystal Townsend

Just the night before, Jesus stood with Paul and encouraged him to testify and share the good news of the gospel, going so far as to tell Paul that he would be going on to testify in Rome. The next morning, he listened as his nephew reported to him of the plot the Jews had formed to have him killed. His own people despised him so much so that they were willing to starve themselves of food and drink until they achieved their goal…ending Paul’s life. Paul sent his nephew to the commander to pass word of the threat, resulting in a covert nighttime transfer to save Paul from the uprising and get him to Governor Felix to stand trial. Paul was successfully moved and then kept under guard as he waited for the next chapter in his story to unfold. 

The entirety of this ordeal that Paul was undergoing must have been exhausting and frustrating to say the least. If Paul were anything like me, he’d have been racking his brain for logical solutions and ways to use diplomacy to his advantage, all while being rather put out that his own people hated him. However, we don’t read of any diplomatic pleas or arguments given by Paul. We don’t read of moping and quiet rants. We are only privy to one reaction that Paul has, he simply sends his nephew on to report to the commander. I can only imagine the comfort his encounter with Jesus the night before brought to him and the impact it made on his reactions. Yes, this was a ludicrous situation and he was in the hands of the Romans, but Jesus had told him to take courage. Jesus had told him he’d need to testify in Rome. So he waited as the story unfolded, ready and willing to testify in obedience to his Savior whatever the cost may be. This leads me to ask myself a few questions. Am I willing to trust Him with my next chapter? To follow Him in obedience no matter the cost? To boldly testify at every opportunity He provides? These are questions we should ask daily amidst the unpredictable and sometimes confusing landscape of our lives as we take comfort and courage in the power of our God.

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