Day 135: Roman Justice

Acts 22:25-29 :

When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?”

When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, “Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!”

The commanding officer came and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”

He said, “Yes.”

The commanding officer answered, “I bought my citizenship for a great price.”

Paul said, “But I was born a Roman.”

Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.

These soldiers were in trouble when they found out that Paul was a natural born Roman citizen. Paul had more natural position than the officer who had to buy his citizenship. They knew that special rules applied to Roman Citizens and they had to be proven guilty before punished.

Notice that those who were going to examine him quickly hid themselves. It’s a pretty horrible thing when people enjoy the suffering of others. We know from history that Rome made this a kind of game for the people to watch. All people are made in the image of God according to the Bible and because of this, all men are naturally valuable. The Romans lived with a worldview in which the gods where about as corrupt as mankind and some were higher than others. It’s easy to see that Paul was in a much better frame of mind than the soldiers.