Acts 22 The Protection of Citizenship
Acts 22:25 As they stretched him out for the lash, Paul said the the centurion standing by, “It is legal for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen and is uncondemned?”
Paul was in Jerusalem and had just given his testimony about how he met the Lord. He had said that God was sending him to the Gentiles. That thought caused the Jewish people to put up a fuss, throwing aside their robes and throwing sand in the air. The commander wanted to know why the Jewish people were yelling at Paul, so was going to get ready to examine Paul — by having him scourged.
It is interesting that Paul faced punishment when he had done nothing wrong. He had not caused the commotion, the Jews had. Yet, because the commander planned to have Paul examined by scourging. Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen to avoid punishment. The commander was alarmed when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and he had bound him. Paul had a right to a Roman trial as a citizen.
I am happy to be a citizen of Canada. I have enjoyed many rights and freedoms throughout my life. Responsibilities of citizenship include paying taxes and voting. Yet, in I not only a citizen of my country; I am a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom. As a citizen of the Kingdom, I have a right of access to the King. I can come before his throne at any time — what a beautiful right it is! My King has paid for my salvation, for the forgiveness of my sins and for healing for my body.
I have responsibilities as well — responsibilities to live in a way that honors my King. Paul would later write to the Philippians “Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (part of Philippians 1:27).
My challenges and questions to myself are these: Am I honoring the fact that Jesus has given me access to His throne by taking the time to be in His presence, or am I just going about my day, with Jesus in the background? (Ouch!) Am I seeking to fulfill my responsibilities in the kingdom as diligently as I can, or am I letting them slide?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing me to be a citizen of your kingdom. Help me to honor you as my King as I go about my day. Amen.
CC: K Carswell 2022
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