Paul had just been beaten and almost killed by those against his message and in Acts 22, he gets a chance to talk before being hauled off by the Roman soldiers. To defend himself, Paul spoke to the crowd in Aramaic so they could understand and to show that he was a devout Jew with a respect for Jewish laws.
From this passage, we learn that relating the whole truth to others about your experiences is a very effective way to share the Gospel. Paul gives his personal testimony; that he once was a man that persecuted Christians but had been changed after the experience along the road to Damascus.
Unfortunately, the crowd’s attitude was one of bias against Gentiles. Paul knew this would probably be the case but he shared the whole truth with them even though it would have been safer to leave out some of the more unpopular truths.
After Paul makes the statement in verse 21, the people in the crowd raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” (v. 22). The commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks to be flogged and interrogated.
It was then that Paul mentioned that he was a Roman citizen. No one in the day of Paul had Roman citizenship except the elite who paid large sums of money to become a citizen; some say around $50,000 in today’s money. The soldiers immediately withdrew as they were alarmed that Paul was a Roman citizen, in chains.
In a similar way, we can alarm our enemy by pronouncing our citizenship within the kingdom of God. Trying to defend ourselves rarely ever helps but it is when the Lord defends us that we truly receive the help we need. He has paid a large price for our right to be free from sin. Those who believe what Christ has done for them, receive this gift of citizenship into eternal life and the benefits of His Spirit living in their heart.
This day with You Lord, we have read Your Word and are inspired. With You, there is a freedom. A freedom that helps us live, give, and love. A freedom that will speak and teach; laying out a clear Way to follow. We are not the only ones who receive this guidance since we can tell others about Your Way. They can follow too. Lord, be with us today to feel this freedom only You can give and continue to provide the power in us to follow Your Way. Amen.