Written by Erin Allen.
I tend to be a bit of an aggressive driver.
I blame this entirely on the Bronx blood that flows through my veins. My mother grew up in New York City. Her grandparents immigrated from Germany and began a business delivering ice in the Bronx on horse-drawn carriages. Later they transitioned to selling heating oil. My uncle and cousins run the company today.
My absolute favorite place on earth was my Grandparents’ home. When I was growing up, my family took every opportunity we had to be in NYC, and I loved everything about it. I loved that the highways flowed at high speeds, and I loved the impatience of the horns in stopped traffic. I loved the subway whipping along between stops and losing my balance, falling into the person next to me who thought nothing of it. This girl who grew up in Hilton has a lot of big city in her which you probably did not know and would not assume.
In Acts 23 we learn that Paul had a sister; his sister had a son. God used Paul’s nephew to save his life.
Too often I only think about what I read on the pages, but this story made me pause and think about Paul- the man, the son, the brother. I wish I could ask him all sorts of questions.
I have not often thought of or considered how Paul’s actions affected his own family. Were his parents alive? What happened to his wife? From this text we know he had a sister, but did he have other siblings? How much of his family disagreed with his conversion and ousted him from the family? Did any of his family come to Christ?
Taking the time to pause and consider helps our minds believe that what we are reading is truth. Plowing through our Bibles and checking the box on our reading plans is not without value. But without pausing to consider, we run the risk of the Word of God being just words on a page. When I meet someone new, I love to ask lots of questions about them and their story. I love to learn about people and what makes them tick. I hope to do the same with the people in scripture.
It appears that Paul’s nephew took a keen interest in him, and was willing to warn his uncle of impending death. He boldly shared the news he had learned to the commander, perhaps risking his very life. Paul’s nephew is nameless in scripture, but not to Paul. Maybe he had a close relationship with his nephew, maybe Paul led his nephew to Christ, and out of sheer devotion, he ran to his rescue. We will probably never have these answers, but the value of the moments we pause and consider puts the truth of scripture deeper into our hearts.
Pause & consider.