A Platform

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?”

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

40 After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic: Acts 21:30-40

The soldiers were taking Paul away but he asked to be heard. Others may have been causing the uproar because of him, but Paul saw an opportunity that wasn’t available 30 minutes prior to that. Now he had a platform. Before he’s finished he will upset a few more people with his words, but for now, he gets to be heard.

For Paul it always seemed to be about looking for an opportunity and seizing it.

Those opportunities come along for us, though probably not as violent or obvious. And the opportunities come in many sizes too: lending a hand when no one else does, saying a kind word to someone who is having a terrible day, or any number of things we can imagine. Opportunities to help otherx get closer to the truth are there if we are training ourselves to look for them.

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