35 Early in the morning the judges sent their officers to the jailer. They ordered him, “Let those men go.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The judges have ordered me to set you and Silas free. You can leave now. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied to the officers. “They beat us in public,” he said. “We weren’t given a trial. And we are Roman citizens! They threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and personally lead us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the judges. When the judges heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they became afraid. 39 So they came and said they were sorry. They led them out of the prison. Then they asked them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house. There they met with the brothers and sisters. They told them to be brave. Then they left.
This is the first time Paul and Silas were put into goal after the dream where the man from Macedonia called them to come.
By the order of magistrates, Paul and Silas were stripped and beaten publicly with rods without a trial. Then, the next morning, they sent officers to the jailer to release them. But Paul refused to disappear quietly seeing he was a Roman citizen. This caused the magistrates to come and appease them and escort them from the prison personally.
What a great victory-story this is. Paul did not take his freedom and run away. He stands on his right as a Roman citizen, as it was illegal to punish a citizen in such a way. Once the magistrates found this out they came & apologized personally. This story would be spread throughout the believers & so would be an encouragement especially if they too were Roman citizens. That’s why Paul said: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God.
The challenge of this passage to me is: Am I brave enough to say NO to authority (boss) for the sake of the Gospel? Especially when I am in a difficult situation.
Dear Lord, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit with me/us all the time. Help me to preach; guide and teach every man in all wisdom (Col 1:28). And never compromise the truth of the Gospel whenever and wherever I will be. Amen.
Written by Allen Leu