DID you know that the apostle Paul had relatives who were followers of Jesus? *— A sister of his and her son apparently were. And that nephew saved Paul’s life! We know neither his name nor that of his mother, but we know what he did. Would you like to hear about it?—
Paul has just returned from his third missionary trip and is in Jerusalem. It is apparently the year 56 C.E. Paul has been arrested and is to be tried. But Paul’s enemies do not want him to face a trial. They want him dead! So they plan for some 40 men to lie in wait along the way to kill Paul.
Somehow, Paul’s nephew learns about the plan. Do you know what he does?— He goes to Paul and tells him about it. Right away, Paul tells an army officer: “Lead this young man off to the military commander, for he has something to report.” The officer takes him to the commander, Claudius Lysias, and explains that the young man has important information. Claudius takes Paul’s nephew aside, and the youth tells him everything.
Claudius warns Paul’s nephew: “Do not blab to anyone that you have made these things clear to me.” Then he calls two army officers and tells them to get 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen ready to march to Caesarea. At nine o’clock that night, the 470 men leave and deliver Paul safely to Roman Governor Felix in Caesarea. In a letter to Felix, Claudius tells about the plans to kill Paul.
So the Jews are forced to meet Paul in a court of law in Caesarea to make their accusations. But, of course, they have no proof that Paul has done anything wrong. Even so, Paul is unjustly held in a prison for two years. Hence, he appeals to have a trial in Rome, and he is sent there.
What can we learn from this account about Paul’s nephew?— That it takes courage to speak up for the right things and that if we do, we can save lives. Even when Jesus knew that enemies “were seeking to kill him,” he kept telling people about God’s Kingdom. Jesus told us to do the same. Will we do so? We will if we have courage like that of Paul’s nephew.
Paul urged his young friend Timothy: “Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Stay by these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.” (1 Timothy 4:16) Surely, Paul’s nephew applied such encouragement from his uncle. Will you?
^ par. 3 If you are reading with children, the dash provides a reminder to stop and direct the question to them.