Acts 16: 35-40….I wonder what was said behind closed doors?

But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.

If you don’t let your imagination run wild sometimes condensed stories can seem pretty mundane. I’ve held positions of authority and I can imagine the questionings, the accusations that were thrown around in the conference, before someone decided – ‘just let them go and good riddance to them!’ The jailer was probably glad to take the news to his new friend Paul. ‘No sir. They did wrong, let them humbly come and set us free.’ I have no idea how Paul and Silas had become Roman citizens but from reading I do know that beating a slave and beating a free Roman citizen were very different! I have no doubt that Paul took the opportunity to spread a bit more of the ‘Good News’ which he was spreading wherever they went. He took his time encouraging the fledgling church and then left, no doubt to have more difficulties!

Prayer: Help us to build upon setbacks and not to be crushed by them, Lord.

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