Crazy Like a Fox
In this sixth week of Easter, we find Paul and another disciple beaten and in prison once again. At this point, the man has to be an incredible mess of scars, broken bones, and painful wounds. Yet, he sits in prison singing and praising Jesus. What kind of crazy is this?
It's the kind of crazy that knows Jesus will do anything to place you where you need to be and reach those He needs to reach.
In the middle of the night, there is a huge earthquake, the cells are all opened, and somehow the chains fall off of all the prisoners. (Another one of those Easter moments - did you catch it?) The jailer is about to kill himself rather than face the consequences of their escape, and Paul yells out to him, "We're here!"
Now Paul has the jailer's attention.
He listens to Paul's story and believes. Taking them home to his family, the jailer washes their wounds and his entire family is baptized. They're all in.
Then it's time to move on. This time to Athens. This is one of my favorite stories, since it says so much about how our faith can be so close, even if we have no idea.
As Paul wanders through Athens, there are altars for every conceivable god, and even one for "an unknown god" in case they missed one. Paul is thrilled to tell them that their devotion is beautiful, and now is the time to find the source of their worship. Now is the time to come home. What a beautiful way to witness to people in our life. I swear that almost everyone I meet has some level of faith that they have named something else. It's just a matter of helping them see what they already know.
Finally, Paul comes to Corinth (of the Letters to the Corinthians fame) and stays for a while. When he is there, the Jewish leadership is once again unhappy, and as happened to Jesus, they ask the Roman government to try him. Except, just as happened to Peter and John, the civil government refuses to even consider the request and it ends there.
Over and over again in these weeks, we are shown how the message will not be stopped. The good news will be told. Are you listening?