Day 45: God’s Way vs. Our Way
20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21 and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34 He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
No one would have blamed Paul and Silas if they chose to run out of prison quickly. Nevertheless, they stayed around to save the man who jailed them. They knew that the jailer was just doing his job; they saw something in the jailer worth risking their lives to help. Jesus is asking us to see in others that divine image that is truly there. Only by the grace of God is this possible. It is not something we do on our own power. When Jesus formed his church, it is becoming increasingly clear to me, Jesus intended to reveal in to us that each of us has a divine image. Will we seek to accept God’s grace and seek out that image in both others and ourselves, or will we react as our culture teaches us to react? Will we be seduced to worship any other idol?
Recap Prayer: Dear Jesus, Our world is distorted by a misplaced emphasis on each of us wanting to be our own god. Help us to discern the difference between honoring the divine image of You that is in all of us, rather than worshipping the egotism that encourages us to demand having our own way. Amen.