READING: Job 18-20, Acts 21:26-22:5
It takes only one person to generate a controversy in the church. One person can create trouble, gather others to support his position, and lead them in the wrong direction. One person can spark a fire that soon burns out of control.
Then, imagine what happens when you multiply that one. The controversy grows stronger and spreads more rapidly. Today’s reading, in fact, tells us of such a situation: “When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd . . .” (Acts 21:27). In the minds of his enemies, Paul was the instigator of a revolution, teaching against Jewish tradition and even, they thought, bringing Gentiles into the temple and defiling it. His enemies riled up the crowd, and “the whole city was stirred up” (Acts 21:30). So angry were the people, in fact, that they tried to kill Paul.
This revolt against Paul didn’t begin en masse, however, with the entire crowd all at once determining to stand against him. The text tells us that “some Jews from the province of Asia” started the stir. My prayer is that I would not be one to start a stand against the work of God, nor would I join any crowd who does so.
PRAYER: “Father, keep me so focused on You that I don’t get distracted by others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day