Text: Acts 21:37-22:16
For courage to share your testimony
For wisdom to walk through this age
For all who are lost
HEAR THE DEFENSE I NOW MAKE BEFORE YOU.
Standing before the angry crowd, Paul testifies to what he has done—our word apology comes from the word he uses, but Paul has no regrets as he begins to explain who he is, what he has done, and why.
It is that last question, why, that is the real crux. It is our favorite question, but we ask it differently. Whereas the crowd before the Temple wanted to know why Paul had abandoned the traditions and teaching of their ancestors, we want to know why we should continue in any tradition, any teaching at all. Conditioned over many years to prefer the new and novel, imagining that “freedom” is being able to do what we want, whenever we want, we are suspicious of those who came before us. We assume that their sins and failures render their traditions and teachings useless, if not worse. We will do our own thing, and so make paths for ourselves through life, never thinking that we are wandering or walking aimlessly, never seeing that we are going in circles, that we are lost. We have become what the prophet Hosea saw: a people without understanding (4:12-14), a bunch of wooden-heads that no longer recognize the why of human life.
So Paul stands and defends the why: I was wandering, and the Lord Jesus Christ gave me a purposeful path. I was lost and he came and found me. I was without understanding and he helped me see. I was dead, and he gave me my life back.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks