Paul Reveals His Roman Citizenship

Read: Acts 22:22-30

Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” (v. 25)

Paul had once again run into trouble in Jerusalem. In many ways, his experiences in Jerusalem mirror the experiences that Jesus had toward the end of his life. Like Jesus, Paul was slandered, lied about, and arrested. Like Jesus, he was ordered to be flogged.

The Roman guards had already tied him up when Paul calmly asked the centurion if it was lawful to flog a man who was a Roman citizen. Paul had pulled a trump card out of his deck that no one was expecting. By speaking up, he revealed that he was a Roman citizen who had rights. Flogging a Roman citizen without granting a fair trial was illegal. If he had allowed the flogging, the centurion would most likely have had to face execution.

But let’s think about Paul once more. If he was one who followed the example of Christ, why wouldn’t he be willing to give up his life for him? The reason had to be that he knew there was still more for him to do. As he said previously, “I must also see Rome” (Acts 19:21). Obviously, the Lord concurred when he said to Paul, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome” (23:11). —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask the Lord give you wisdom to know where he is directing you to testify for him.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.