Even today there is the understanding that 'nothing is free' and yet we worship a God that has given us everything and all we have to offer back are our broken lives.
Reference: v.28 Then the commander said, "I had to pay a big price for my citizenship."
"But I was born a citizen," Paul replied. (NIV Bible)
Explore: All of my friends and family know that I am very tight with my wallet. As a child I was always saving my pocket money so that when I was older I could buy a car (if only those 20cent pieces were worth more now!!) But even now my husband will always have to answer 20 questions before he makes any kind of purchase. I would like to think that I'm generous with my money I just don't like to spend it frivolously.
Money is an essential part of life. While we seem to be so money focused these days it seems like it was a similar situation when Jesus walked the earth. He spoke a great deal about money especially through his parables. And here we have Paul who is about to be flogged by someone who had to pay a great deal for his Roman citizenship, where Paul was born into it. This commander would have had a very strong awareness of money. He had paid for a citizenship which would have made him more powerful and assisted him in holding a better place in society.
Paul was living in a society where you would have had to pay large amounts of money to obtain a better place. And then you come in with the message of Jesus… Christ paid the price for you.
Application: While even today there is the understanding that 'nothing is free' and yet we worship a God that has given us everything and yet all we have to offer back are our broken lives. When Jesus gave all that He had on the cross he was taking all of our sin on himself. Not because he 'owed us one', not because he was in debt to us and not because we were ever worthy of such a sacrifice. It is that message that shows of God's amazing grace and extravagant love. We can not pay for His love, we are all born as children of God. And to hold our citizenship all we need to do is acknowledge Him as Lord and strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Prayer: Lord, the sacrifice you paid for us is inconceivable. Your love and grace is overwhelming. Thank you. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.