TO SAVE PAUL’S LIFE
Lord, I pray that I will be ever ready to speak Your life-saving Word.
Read Acts 23:12–22
12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”
16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.
The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”
19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”
20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”
22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectEver feel intimidated to step into a messy situation? Maybe you feel too young, too insignificant, or you don’t know what to say?
In these verses, a murder plot is thwarted. In the Jews’ oath and the chief priests’ and elders’ collusion, we see evil at work opposing the advance of the Gospel. Where do you recognize this in your local context? But then as now, God was at work behind the scenes fulfilling his purposes. This courageous young man stepped into the gap with a life-saving word, revealing the entire plot. There was something about that boy: he “solemnly testified” to both his famous uncle and to an intimidating Tribune, and secured their listening ears and their confidence.
What holds you back from sharing the life-giving word of the Gospel? Is it youth, uncertainty of what to say, fear of people rather than God, or something else? Just as God used this young boy—whose name we do not even know—to save Paul’s life, God can use every one of us in his work and even save lives for eternity.
It is always easiest not to get involved in sticky situations, but our God did not call us to hold back words of life. Reflect on what opportunities you have to share Jesus today.
Jesus, open my eyes to see the opportunities You place in front of me to share Your Word. Give me the words to say.