“And they listened to him until this word.” – Acts 22:22
Here, the Apostle Paul was in Jerusalem and he was arrested again. In fact, one of the main reasons he was arrested and taken out of the crowd by Roman soldiers was due to the fact that Paul’s own people were together as a mob and would probably have killed him.
Prior to this, Paul had been told not to go to Jerusalem. There was also a prophet by the name of Agabus who told Paul what would happen if he did go. Even Luke told him not to go. But Paul went anyway.
Paul loved his people. He loved the Nation of Israel. He wanted to preach Christ to them yet did not get to because God had him go to the Gentiles, the non-Jew. And here, in this chapter, Paul finally has the opportunity to tell his people about what Jesus has done. He even began talking to them in Hebrew and they were attentive, they were listening. But as soon as he said that salvation is for the Gentiles too, they stopped listening. It did not fit within their belief, even though it was truth from God’s Word.
Many times we read or hear scripture that pierces our hearts and challenges us. And sadly, many times we stop listening because it does not align with what we want or believe, just like the Jews did here.
When Jesus is speaking to our hearts we should listen, even when it is something we do not want to hear. If it is Jesus then it is truth. We need to be obedient, submit and allow Him to work in and through our lives.
What is He saying to you today? Is it challenging you? Is it causing you to have to put down your will and your ways for His? If so, how will you respond? Will you ignore Him because it does not fit into what you want? Or will you press into Him and be obedient?
“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear. If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself. Jesus Christ will not force me to obey Him, but I must. And as soon as I obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny.” – Chambers