Rationalizing With Irrational People

  1. Message: In Acts 24 Paul was under the protection of the Roman government because the Jews had made accusations and were plotting to kill him. You can clearly see the working relationship between the Jewish council and the Roman government and how the Jews used the government to perform their dirty work. As brutal as the Roman government was with their punishments, they appear to be organized and somewhat fair. They became fearful and immediately stopped the punishment process of lashes on Paul when he told them he was a Roman citizen and that the punishment was illegal. They kept him in custody and when the plot to kill Paul was brought to their attention privately, they took it seriously and took measures to protect Paul and give him a fair hearing to handle the accusations made against him. Paul understood the working relationships well and he even used his understanding between the Pharisees and the Sadducees to gain favor of half the angry mob by simply telling them he was a Pharisee and was being accused because of the hope of the resurrection. He was well aware of this firm argument between the two groups and this worked like a charm. We also see that so far, everything he was warned about in Jerusalem was true. The Jews would not hear his message and were plotting to kill him, but the Roman government was protecting him and opportunities to share the gospel with them were beginning. This kept Paul right on track with God’s plan for him to reach the gentiles.

Application: I didn’t write anything for the command, promise and warning because what I read in here felt more like an observation than hard facts pointing to what was right. I’m honestly not sure I understand why Paul went to Jerusalem against the warning of all the godly people in his life, and even the voice of God who told him from the beginning that the Jews would not listen to his message. Paul was determined and he went anyway. He had accepted that he might die and wanted to die trying. He may have seen himself in them and wanted to exhaust all possibilities to save their souls because he himself had been saved. It seems like he felt he could reach them by talking to them and relating to them with his story and he needed to try. I have felt this way SOO many times. I have felt that if I could just talk with someone who is acting irrational that I might be able to win them over. This doesn’t work with irrational people and especially those who are living in a state of rebellion. You will never word it just right to make an irrational or spiritually blind person see, and there are times I literally felt God telling me to shut my mouth. What I observed in this story was the grace of God working that when Paul insisted on trying to speak to them, God kept him safe with the Romans. God’s will was for Paul to reach the gentiles and even in spite of this, God had him on track to do just that.

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