“As Paul reached the stairs, the mob grew so violent the soldiers had to lift him to their shoulders to protect him. And the crowd followed behind, shouting, “Kill him, kill him!”….“Please, let me talk to these people.””
Acts 21:35-36, 39c
As Paul entered Jerusalem, the city was full of worshippers who had already started the purification ritual’s as stated in the law of Moses. Paul knew that danger awaited in Jerusalem, as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:22-23). He knew that everywhere he traveled, imprisonment, persecution and danger was waiting for him. Yet that did not stop him sharing the gospel with boldness and zeal wherever he went.
As Paul stood up to address the large crowds, almost immediately a mob of men, started stirring up the crowds against him, so much so, that the whole city joined in with this great riot. Can you imagine what Paul must have felt? A whole city against him, willing that he would die, with such hatred and venom! Paul barely escaped death, aided by the Roman army stepping in to help him. Yet Paul did not bask in his temporary freedom, but instead, asked to share further with the crowds. Isn’t this astounding?! The crowds who moments before were willing to rip him to pieces! Yet Paul, only had love for them and wanted to share the Good News of Jesus with them.
This is the radical power and love of Jesus’ life transforming work. From a persecutor to spokesman for Jesus, an ambassador for the Jewish religious law, to an ambassador for Christ. Jesus not only saves us, to give us eternal life, but saves us to make a difference. Paul is a perfect example of a complete life transformation. He was full of love for the people he once persecuted and for the people who were persecuting him. Even in spite of death, Paul wanted to share his conversion testimony, and the goodness of Jesus with his accusers. Doesn’t this remind us of Jesus too? Let us pray that we too may have the courage to share about Jesus, even in the face of persecution!