Confidence Under Fire

23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains. Acts 22:23-29

The Apostle Paul knew all along that he had a “citizen card” to play with the authorities. Note how casual Paul seemed to be as he was being stretched out for flogging. Most of us would be screaming and kicking and demanding they release us because of who we were.

Paul was truly in God’s hands. The Citizen Card he rightly used might have backfired on him. They could have flogged him and thrown him into prison again. Even in this passage we see the unpredictability of the townspeople. Paul just went with the flow. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Paul was at peace.

We all face difficult situations. How we react to them is probably a reflection of the inner peace (or lack thereof) that Christ provides. We still might get uptight and upset about situations, but we also know where our peace comes from. We have the ability to come back to reality a lot quicker.

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