Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Soldiers Save Paul

27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. 35 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mob of the people followed, crying out, “Away with him!” (Acts 21:27-36 (ESV)
The soldiers help Paul out. Sure they  arrest him here, but they are only doing their job, and it ends up protecting Paul. This is the good work of a soldier that Jesus and John commend, that Paul endorses in Romans 13. It serves for law and order. It serves for the general peace. It is necessary.

I’m always kind of baffled when people say Jesus was a pacifist. That Christianity teaches pacifism. It doesn’t. Then people use this as an excuse to say one shouldn’t practice martial arts, by which they  usually mean Eastern Martial Arts. They usually don’t care about wrestling, or boxing, fencing will get a pass too. A parent might have to take his or her child’s temperament into consideration when they are faced with whether their son takes Karate or not. But learning self-defense is not a bad thing. Training like this is always needed especially for those going into police work, or military, or just those who want to earn a little extra college money bouncing bars. And if we didn’t have people like that, we wouldn’t have had  Paul making it to Rome. Truth is the gospel would not have gotten anywhere.   

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