Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mobs never change (Acts 21b)

1. It never fails. When they finally get you, they don't actually get you for the right thing. Paul's near the temple with a Gentile.  Someone sees him. Jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Time for another confused mob, like at Ephesus. Someone defiled the temple. This guy brought Gentiles into the temple. The mob tries to kill him. The Romans swoop in. They have to carry him to keep the mob from killing him.

I wonder if most of us have this in us.  Think of the political situation in Washington.  How much are we willing to hear both sides?  How many of us just assumed, with prejudice, that our side was automatically right and quickly fed ourselves with the talking points of our side?  Remember when Dan Rather lost his job because he just assumed forgeries about Bush were authentic. Last week a woman on FOX and Friends was just sure Obama was funding a Muslim memorial through the shutdown.

So many of us are more than happy to buy information that feeds our hates without double checking.  It is the mob in all of us.

2. I don't know if Luke meant for the audience to laugh at Paul's interchanges with Roman soldiers. Paul speaks Greek to the commander who rescues him and asks to speak to the crowd. The Roman commander is confused.  "I thought you were an Egyptian revolutionary."  "No, I'm from Tarsus" (21:37-39).

Then after Paul speaks to the crowd in Aramaic and they get all riled up again, a centurion has another exchange.  "You want to beat me, I'm a Roman citizen." "Really? I am too, paid for it." "Really? I was born one..."  Paul wins. (22:26-28). Paul used to suppress his Roman citizenship. Now he uses it.


Martin LaBar said...

"So many of us are more than happy to buy information that feeds our hates without double checking. It is the mob in all of us."

That would be us.

Susan Moore said...

In my mind this goes back to your blog on the 7th on reconciliation, and my being glad I've set ground rules for myself due to my lack of trust.
Rule #2: Don't assume anything. Don't make judgments without the facts. Ask questions to get to know people.
I should have given #5: Avoid mobs. Jesus is always the narrow gate.