Getting Away With Murder

January 1st, 2008 • Category: Book of Acts
by Mark Shoup

Today’s scripture: Acts 23:23-35 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Mark Shoup):

When I was a kid, I attended a small country school that my parents, their siblings and even some of my grandparents had attended. Some of the older teachers I had there had even taught my parents, aunts and uncles years before. For this reason, flying under the radar and being anonymous was not an option for me. I soon found out that many of these teachers that had taught my family members before me, assumed I would be a well behaved, straight-A student, just like they were. So great was their assumption that I was a chip off the old block, that I was never suspected when random acts of mayhem were committed and I was able to get away with an incredible amount of mischief. To coin a phrase, I got away with murder!

In today’s reading, we see Paul given safe passage because he was a Roman citizen. In fact, he is given an escort fit for a king with mounted horsemen and soldiers just so he can be completely protected from the Jews that had taken the blood oath against him. If Paul had been just another Jew, he would have received no such protection, and would have certainly been killed. This isn’t the first time Paul’s status as a Roman citizen helped in making his point. Surely God foresaw this when he raised Paul up to help carry the message of Jesus to the rest of the world.

Now I want you to think about something else. Being a Christian is kind of like being a Roman citizen in the first century or coming from a family of National Honor Society inductees. No, you probably can’t get away with murder, but what you can “get away with” is eternal life! Having Jesus as your savior can keep you from having to pay the ultimate price for your past “mischief”, and as Saul can attest, it might even save your mortal life sometime! It doesn’t matter who you were, becoming a follower of Christ gives you, in my way of thinking, the “ultimate pedigree.” All you need to do is confess that Jesus is Lord to have it.

Thought and prayer for the day: Thank you Lord, for all the times your grace has protected me. Help me to live as an heir to your kingdom should, and to remember daily how special that is.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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