“I found out that the accusations were concerning questions of their law, and that there was no charge that merited death or imprisonment.” (Acts 23:29)
I’m sure none of us faced the persecution and death threats that Paul endured for sharing the Gospel of Christ. In today’s reading, forty men made it their life’s ambition to have Paul killed. They were so resolute, that they made a solemn oath to not eat anything until they killed Paul. These men should have known better to not harm one of God’s chosen vessels and I’m sure each of them had many moments of being “hangry” from this foolish plan because Paul stayed alive for awhile after this plot was devised.
So when Lysias brought Paul to Governor Felix, he stated that he found all the accusations made against Paul did not merit death or imprisonment. What an important verse in this chapter that shows the innocence of Paul in sharing Christ out of his love and devotion to God and people. As the British scholar, F.F. Bruce wrote, “One of Luke’s prime motives in writing his twofold history is to demonstrate that there is no substance in this charge of subversion brought not only against Paul but against Christians in general – that competent and impartial judges had repeatedly confirmed the innocence of the Christian movement and the Christian missionaries in respect of Roman law.
As much as opponents to Christianity have tried to claim that Christians should be punished and imprisoned for sharing the Gospel, these accusations are found to be false. Yet, we should ask ourselves, what are our motives for sharing the Gospel to others? Is it because we have selfish motives? Do we want the person we like to become a Christian so we can date them? Are we insecure with our own faith that we share Christ in hopes of validating our insecurities? Do we share Christ because we are arrogant and think we know what is right compared to other people? I sure hope not!
I hope that we share Christ out of a genuine love and appreciation to God for saving us through His Son, Jesus. Since our lives have been transformed by Jesus, we want others to enjoy the love, grace, and freedom that can only be found in Christ.