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.
In these couple of verses, we read how the centurion judged Paul based on his ethnicity and gossip. The centurion was under the impression Paul was a vagabond Egyptian who started a revolt which resulted in leading 4000 terrorists out into the wilderness (Acts 21:37). However it wasn’t soon after that the centurion learned Paul possessed a greater status that the centurion – since his was only bought whereas Paul’s citizenship was freeborn. This is a great example of not to judge a book by its cover and or where they come from. We can also learn from Paul, how to react when we are misjudged. Paul, didn’t react in anger or in any retaliatory measure that was available to him as a freeborn citizen (Con).
Thoughts for the day
- How quickly do you judge a person based on their appearance and or culture?
- How do you react when people have judged you unfairly?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Stop and pray for someone who is near to you right now, someone you can see.