27 The seven days of cleansing were almost over. Some Jews from Asia Minor saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and grabbed Paul. 28 “Fellow Israelites, help us!” they shouted. “This is the man who teaches everyone in all places against our people. He speaks against our law and against this holy place. Besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple. He has made this holy place ‘unclean.’ ” 29 They said this because they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul. They thought Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 The whole city was stirred up. People came running from all directions. They grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Right away the temple gates were shut. 31 The people were trying to kill Paul. But news reached the commander of the Roman troops. He heard that people were making trouble in the whole city of Jerusalem. 32 Right away he took some officers and soldiers with him. They ran down to the crowd. The people causing the trouble saw the commander and his soldiers. So they stopped beating Paul. 33 The commander came up and arrested Paul. He ordered him to be held with two chains. Then he asked who Paul was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing, some another. But the commander couldn’t get the facts because of all the noise. So he ordered that Paul be taken into the fort. 35 Paul reached the steps. But then the mob became so wild that he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”
What strikes me in this passage is that the Roman authorities actually saved Paul’s life in this episode of Acts. By all accounts, Roman authorities in Paul’s time were not the nicest bunch, nor were they supporters of Christianity per se. But in this particular moment, God used the authorities to spare Paul’s life.
As soon as the commander and his troops arrived on the scene, Paul’s accusers stopped beating him.
Reading this passage, it is clear that God uses all people, at all levels of society, to fulfill his good purposes. Even the most unwitting people. And in this instance, these authority figures saved God’s servant, Paul, from probable death.
I am reminded that I need to be thankful, and prayerful, for all those in authority over me. I need to prayerful that people of good repute, and Godly character, would hold such positions.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh