I was reading in Acts 23 the other day. The story tells us that there were some Jews who were not happy with what the Apostle Paul was teaching. So they made an oath not to eat or drink until he was killed. There were over forty men who had made an oath and conspired against Paul . The text then says that son of Paul’s sister heard about this plot and went to tell Paul.
Now I have read Acts many times, but have missed this little piece of the book in the past. I am blown away by the courage and love it took for this person to go and tell Paul about the situation. He could have been killed for going and doing this. It made me think. Would people risk their life and comfort to protect me? Have I invested in other’s in such a way that they would take a chance to tell me something that could cost them? How many people do I have in my corner that are like this boy? Who tells me the stuff I need to hear – whether it is easy to say or not – whether it could get them in trouble or not – whether I want to hear it or not? I want to be this kind of person for others. I want to root for others with my words, heart and actions. I am also challenged to invest in others in such a way that they would risk for me, because I have shown a willingness to risk for them.
This was brought to mind again today in Romans 9, where Paul said he would even take on condemnation for himself if it would save all the Jews. A big contrast from my complaints when giving up a few minutes of my time for someone else.
I also read through ALL the greetings at the end of Romans and noticed that several of Paul’s relatives, even some who were followers of Jesus before Paul, were mentioned. I would like to speculate that Paul persecuted some of them before his conversion and later they rescued him from death and served time with him in prison for the Lord. Transformed lives in action – showing God’s pure love to everyone.