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This is the end of the passage in which Paul and Silas preach in Philippi, are arrested, beaten and imprisoned and, in the night, are freed by an earthquake, but stay where they are, leading to the conversion of the jailer and his family.

I was struck, reading it today, by the fact that they didn’t say, ‘Wait! We’re Roman citizens!’ before the flogging began. Why would you not do that? Why submit yourself to painful and humiliating treatment when three little words could secure your safety and comfort?

The text gives us no clues. Perhaps they tried to protest but were ignored. Or maybe God closed their mouths, or told them in a dream the night before not to say anything. Whatever. Their decision to stay silent cost them something, but it was the means of salvation for the jailer and his whole family.

Worth the cost? I’m not sure I’d have had the courage or the love for this stranger to be willing to submit myself to such pain for his sake. What a challenge these chapters are to my comfortable life!

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