Thursday, September 2, 2010

a higher court

Luke 23:1-2 Then the whole assembly rose and led Him off to Pilate.  And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation.  He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."
Acts 18:12-13 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court.  "This man,"  they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law."
I was struck by the similarity of events between the treatment of Jesus and of Paul.  You would think that the outcomes would be similar as well.  After all, Paul was probably considered a threat very similar to fact he was continuing to spread the message of the One they thought had been eliminated.  But God had a plan for Paul that called for him to live on.  And Gallio reacted differently than Pilate.  (verses 15-16) "...since it involves questions about words and names and your own law-settle the matter yourselves.  I will not be the judge of such things."  So he had them ejected from the court.
In fact, the one who ended up being beaten here was the synagogue ruler, Sosthenes, for bringing embarrassment to the local assembly.  But before this dramatic event, Paul was given inside information by the Lord that He had special plans for him that included keeping him alive for a while.  (from Acts 18:9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city."
It is encouraging to remember that God has a plan.  He will not be frustrated by men and He is not constrained by our expectations.  Moreover, He will provide the encouragement and direction we need to properly participate in that plan...if we will look up to Him and listen.
Rob Smith

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