[The commander in charge of Paul's arrest sent the following letter to Governor Felix in Caesarea along with the armed protection for Paul:] "This man was seized by some Jews, and they were about to kill him when I arrived with the troops. When I learned that he was a Roman citizen, I removed him to safety. Then I took him to their high council to try to learn the basis of the accusations against him. I soon discovered the charge was something regarding their religious law — certainly nothing worthy of imprisonment or death. But when I was informed of a plot to kill him, I immediately sent him on to you. I have told his accusers to bring their charges before you."
— Acts 23:27-30 NLT
Luke wrote his two books (Luke and Acts) about Jesus and the early church with a special emphasis that Jesus and his early followers in the church did nothing illegal. That emphasis included this Roman commander's conclusion that Paul had done "nothing worthy of imprisonment or death." In fact, the commanders (sometimes called centurions) were very favorable and some even became believers, as did other soldiers.* Luke wrote his two volumes to a person, or group, represented by the name Theophilus,** which means "God-lover" or "friend of God." We meet this group of people, also called "God-fearing Gentiles," all throughout Acts** — Gentiles who have seeking hearts and are searching for God and the truth of his grace. For us as believers two thousand years later, Luke's emphasis should remind us that Christianity isn't anti-government or anti-society or illegal, but is an open door for those seeking God in every nation, culture, and language to find Jesus (Revelation 7:9-12; cf. Acts 1:8).
Open my eyes, dear Father, to those around me who love you and are seeking the truth about you, but who have not found Jesus. Guide me, use me, and please give me the disposition and words that make your love, grace, mercy, and salvation in Jesus attractive to them. For the cause of Christ, I pray this in the Lord's name. Amen.