Saturday, October 14, 2023
The [Roman] commander agreed [that Paul was no threat and could address the crowd], so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic.
The Roman commander was in charge even though the mob had been trying to kill Paul a few moments earlier.* While most Jewish residents in Jerusalem disdained the Roman soldiers, they also feared them and knew to obey them. Paul's fluency in different languages now became even clearer than previously when the Roman soldier had heard him speaking in perfect Greek. After speaking in Greek, Paul addressed his people in the language of the common people, Aramaic.** He also knew Hebrew. Paul's fluidity in going from language to language was part of his commitment to work well in, and adapt to, all sorts of cultures and people to win others for Christ.*** In this situation, Paul could break the "deep silence" with words and language his hearers could comfortably understand. Which raises an important question: How are we — and how am I — growing to be able to carry on conversations about Jesus with other people whose culture, values, and language are different from my own?
* See the first set of Related Scripture Readings.
** See this article for information about Aramaic.
*** See the second set of Related Scripture Readings.
O, Father, please bless me as I seek to better be able to share Jesus with others in my family, among my friends, and even with those of different cultures and languages. Holy Spirit, as you pour love into my heart, please open my heart to know, love, and communicate better with others. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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