Paul begins his speech to the raging crowd by reminding them of how passionately he initially opposed the followers of Christ.
“I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison“v.33
He goes on to testify of how God intervened on the road to Damascus, blinding him and reordering his steps.
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!“v.21
At this point, the Roman officers, sensing danger, bring Paul back to the barracks, intending to interrogate him further. Their efforts are cut short once Paul makes them aware that he is in fact a Roman citizen which grants him rights that they’ve already violated.
Let’s Talk About It
Pride & Racism
It seems as if the biggest point of contention is Paul’s implication that God is for everyone. This unacceptance of the extent of God’s love, grace, and mercy is a residual effect of pride and racism that still finds itself hidden in the hearts of believers today. Thinking too highly of self and/or too little of another will undoubtedly influence how one views the world and the people that God has called us to love and to serve.