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Acts 16:35-40, Citizens? Oops

Key Verse

The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.
— Acts 16:38-39

RCL Daily Devotion for Monday, June 3, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Once the officials realized that Paul and his associates were Roman citizens, they became afraid.


In Rome, to become a citizen had once been quite difficult. As time progressed, new policies were put into place where most male residents in Roman occupied territory could become a citizen. Citizenship offered people rights they wouldn’t have if they were without a family name or a captured slave. It isn’t surprising that the officials had become apprehensive in their mistake by arresting Paul without cause. It was a big oops for them.

What’s interesting is that throughout history, Christianity has played an important role in offering every single person “citizenship.” Say what you will about the bad history of the church, it has also done good in seeing every human being for what they really are—a child of God.

Open my eyes to see others as my brothers and sisters, O God. Amen.


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