Paul’s defense was going well until he admitted that he was called to be the missionary to the Gentiles. That drove the Jewish people nuts. They were done and ready for Paul to die. So the Roman Captain took him away and began to beat and question him to find out what he had done to make the crowd want him dead…But, then, the whole game changed. They found out Paul was a naturally born Roman citizen. At that moment, they realized that they had mistreated one of their own. It was no longer an issue of what Paul had done–although, he had done nothing wrong! It was simply an issue of his citizenship and standing.
In today’s world, it is still the same. A great deal of our lives happen because of who we are and Whose we are. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we await a savior from there.(Philippians 3:20) It is our citizenship and God’s adoption of us as His children that restores our relationship with him. It is not about what we have done–it is simply about who and whose we are. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul reminds us that we are Christ’s ambassadors and as such we are called to share the good news of faith with all we see. But no act or deed we can do–will either make us citizens, or cause us to lose our standing. As his kids, we are free from that fear of under or over performing to meet a standard that frees us from separation with God. Be thrilled, you are his and that is all that matters!
God Bless You
22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”
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.