The crowd listened [to his defense] until Paul said [the word, "Gentile."] Then they all began to shout, "Away with such a fellow! He isn't fit to live!" They yelled, threw off their coats, and tossed handfuls of dust into the air.
— Acts 22:22-23 NLT
Paul's opportunity to reason with the hostile crowd wanting to kill him was over as soon as he said the word, "Gentile"! They had accused him of taking a Gentile into the Temple — which was untrue. His mention of the word was all they needed to come unhinged and revert to their previous efforts to try to kill him (Acts 21:35-36). The removal of the crowd's coats likely indicated they were preparing to stone Paul. Paul had presided over the coats and execution of Stephen not far from this location years earlier.* How would Paul survive this furious mob who wanted him dead? God used Roman rule — Rome's soldiers and her legal system — to get Paul to Rome and keep his ministry to Gentiles flourishing. The LORD is the God of the impossible who works in the lives of people who love him and are willing to do his will!**
Almighty God, I do believe you are the God of the impossible. You are Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. I confess, dear LORD, that I am sometimes weak and grow discouraged by what I see in our world. As I see the remainder of Acts unfold, please help me awaken to your possibilities through hardship, difficulties, and persecution. Be with my brothers and sisters who face persecution. Help them endure. Empower their testimony beyond the limitations of their circumstances and their lives. Give us all faith to endure. I ask this in Jesus' mighty name. Amen.