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Posts Tagged ‘magistrates’

Verses 37-38: “But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.” And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.”

There was once a manager of a community garden who lacked the funds and the labor to do a wholescale renovation of the garden. He had the money for materials, but not the help. Enter a group of missionary volunteers who offered their services free of charge. The man in charge of the group was a retired veteran landscaper, and knew his craft well. Although grateful for the help, the manager soon found himself meddling in the work, trying to do things more cheaply, or with his own ideas on how things should be done. Among the people involved in the renovation was a video documenter, who was recording the progress for a local documentary on public television, spotlighting the work. Now, during interviews, the manager sometimes didn’t speak as favorably about the landscaper as he should have; he’d offer “his” opinions on him, and lament about the amount of money they were spending. Finally, the documenter politely told the manager that he should “trust that my father is not going to waste your money. He knows what he is doing, believe me.” The manager was aghast: “HE’S YOUR FATHER???” “Yes”, replied the documenter quietly, “didn’t you notice our last names being the same?” The manager’s demeanor changed. After that, the manager was somewhat more respectful, if not more quiet, in his dealings with the landscaper.

One of Paul’s gifts was his intellect and knowledge. He called out the magistrates on their rash treatment of them; it’s very interesting to note what happened when Paul informed them that they were “uncondemned Romans”. Roman society was very strict when it came to citizen rights and the denial of same, and here are these magistrates who had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten, and tossed in jail…and now they wanted them to go away “quietly”. The magistrates changed their tune; they more respectfully apologized and escorted the two from the prison. Though Paul and Silas “could’ve made a stink” about what had happened, they didn’t; they left town after visiting with their new Christian family.

We live in a world today that, more than often, seeks to treat Christians unfairly. Just remember, we have rights and resources others can only dream about…we have access to the Most High God. We can count on Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, in times of need as well as times of plenty. Never forget to Whom you belong.

Something to think about.

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Verses 22-24: “Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.”

The court of public opinion wasn’t just something that started in this century or even last century; it has been around for a long time. Here we have the people who brought charges against Paul and Silas joined by a worked-up mob. It doesn’t take long for word to spread, especially when it has to do with people that you don’t want around. The magistrates hastily had punishment laid out on Paul and Silas. No investigation of the charges was made; quick “justice” to appease the mob was done. But God wasn’t through with Paul and Silas yet.

Today, we see that mob mentality take place. Many times I have read online news articles, and then scanned the posts of commenters from vox populi, “the voice of the people”. Overwhelmingly, the opinions are uninformed and bigoted, lacking knowledge of what truly happened and making judgments only on what was reported on (where have you gone, Joe Friday?) In this day and age when information travels almost at the speed of lightning, we must be careful not to give in to the anger of the moment. Either an investigation turns up information that changes the story…or it confirms what was already assumed. However, at least, in this country, all citizens should get the benefit of due process. Justice may not always be served, but it should be striven for.

Remember though, the justice that we sinners deserve is the cross. Thank Jesus He gave out mercy instead.

Something to think about.

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