beyondrainbow

The Lord is the most reliable person to hear something from because He does not lie. If He says that something is going to take place then you can count on it happening.
(John Lathrop)

In some of my recently published articles I have focused on “difference makers.” We have looked at the young girl in 2 Kings 5 and the boy in John 6. Today, I would like to focus our attention on the apostle Paul’s nephew in Acts 23.

In Acts 23 we find Paul in a place where he was frequently found: in trouble. At the beginning of the chapter we have the account of him appearing before the Sanhedrin. He was there because he had been accused of defiling the Temple (see Acts 21: 27-29). As a result of his remarks before the Sanhedrin, in which he employed a “divide and conquer” strategy, a great disturbance broke out. The disturbance was so great that soldiers had to intervene.

Shortly after this narrow escape from harm the Lord spoke to Paul and assured him that he would testify about Him in Rome (Acts 23:11).

The Lord is the most reliable person to hear something from because He does not lie. If He says that something is going to take place then you can count on it happening.

This brief revelation of one piece of Paul’s future would give the apostle confidence, assuring him that the problems he was experiencing in Jerusalem would not result in his death.

However, a few hours after the Lord spoke to Paul Scripture tells us that more trouble was brewing. A number of Jews had conspired together to kill him. They were serious about it; they had bound themselves with an oath. This was not some idle wish, they had a plan.

Neither their intentions nor their plan were noble. Their plan involved the use of both deceit and power. Amazing as it may seem, their plan involved the participation of the Jewish religious leaders. Those who had bound themselves with an oath to kill Paul requested that their leaders ask the governor to allow Paul to appear before them again so that they could get some more information about the case.

This was not true; this was how they planned to get to Paul in order to take his life. The plan was that while Paul was in transit to the Sanhedrin the conspirators would attack and kill him. The number of people involved in this plot was pretty sizeable; it involved more than forty people.

How would Paul be able to escape this? A trap was being set for him and he did not know about it. He was also outnumbered. Perhaps the greater question is: how was God’s word to Paul, in Acts 23:11, going to be fulfilled?

From a human point of view this situation looked pretty grim. Circumstances seemed to be stacked against him. But remember, God knew that all of this was going to happen when He told Paul that he would testify in Rome. The way the Lord worked out this situation is quite interesting.

The plan to kill Paul was in place. It was made before the advent of some of the more covert communication means that we have today things like email and text messages. The people of Paul’s day, for the most part, communicated by speaking to one another.

As the conspirators discussed their plot they were overheard by someone who cared about Paul. This “leaked” information would result in the undoing of the plot against Paul. The person who overheard the plot to kill Paul was Paul’s nephew. Actually it was not a coincidence that Paul’s nephew was the one who overheard the plot. It was the sovereignty of God. God had Paul’s back!

As was the case with our previous “difference makers” we do not know the name of Paul’s nephew. What we do know is that he was the son of Paul’s sister (Acts 23:16). Like the young girl in 2 Kings 5, Paul’s nephew had information that could make a difference in someone else’s life. In fact, the information that he had was of greater value than what she had. The girl’s information improved the life of Naaman, the information that Paul’s nephew had saved Paul’s life!

Paul’s nephew knew he had valuable information. He may not have actively sought it but he had come across it. Once he had it he knew he needed to do something with it, but what? The problem at hand that was too big for him to handle alone. He needed to tell someone, but who? He went and told Paul what he had heard.

On one hand this made sense because what he had heard concerned Paul. On the other hand, what good would that do because Paul was a prisoner? The young man’s decision to tell Paul proved to be the right choice because Paul knew what to do. He called a centurion and instructed him to have his nephew brought to the commander. Once the young man met the commander he told him about the plan to kill Paul. The commander then made arrangements that thwarted the plot and preserved Paul’s life.

This story illustrates some important truths about being a “difference maker.”

First, we don’t have to be the ultimate solution to a person’s need or circumstance in order to make a difference in their life. We may be only part of the solution, but our part may be absolutely essential. We just need to do our part.

Second, if we have valuable information we need to act on it. Possessing it is not enough, using it toward a good outcome is necessary.

Third, if we don’t know what to do in a difficult situation or the circumstances are bigger than we can handle on our own we need to seek counsel and get some help. If we are open, available, and obedient the Lord will use us to be “difference makers.”

 


John P. Lathrop - United States

John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.

 

 

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https://i0.wp.com/www.beritamujizat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/beyondrainbow.jpg?fit=631%2C354https://i0.wp.com/www.beritamujizat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/beyondrainbow.jpg?resize=631%2C354John P. Lathrop - United StatesKolomTeologidifference maker,Paul's NephewThe Lord is the most reliable person to hear something from because He does not lie. If He says that something is going to take place then you can count on it happening. (John Lathrop) In some of my recently published articles I have focused on “difference makers.” We have looked...Tuliskan Kebenaran, Hasilkan Perubahan