The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!” He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved you and your household.”bible daily devotional reference –Acts 16:27-31
The jailer must have been terrified to consider killing himself. His punishment at the hands of the magistrates would have to have been very severe for him to have such fear. And yet because of the kindness of Paul and Silas and their not escaping when given the opportunity impressed him so much that he wanted to have what they have. As I have mentioned before, witness more than doctrine inspires more people to learn more about what motivates their example of kindness, fidelity, compassion. What must we do to be saved? Believe in Jesus and his gift of salvation. This, then, begs the question about how we show our belief. The jailer responded to Paul and Silas by listening to them teach him about Jesus, bringing them out of the jail, cleansing their wounds and, after being baptized along with his family, brought them home and fed them. Would we be as willing to risk punishment to help someone in trouble? We might be willing if the person is someone we care about, but a stranger? We can learn something from both Paul and Silas and from the jailer. Our actions can have unforeseen consequences that can lead others to Christ, and, once we come to faith, our fears can seem as nothing in light of the gift of salvation.
Prayer: Oh Lord, help my behavior lead others to Christ without fear of the consequences. Amen.
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