Daily Thought for: 7th December

THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER

Acts 16. 16-40

Little did the Philippian jailer realize how his life was going to change after he had locked up his latest two prisoners. For him it had been an ordinary working day. A local riot had resulted in two customers for the prison, and he was happy to oblige and provide the accommodation, albeit the worst that was available! He had done his job for the day—probably a conscientious man—and settled to a night’s sleep, never realizing he was to be one of a famous few in scripture whose sleep was interrupted by the Lord. 

At midnight Paul and Silas were busy with an impromptu time of witness, ‘praying and singing praises to God’ for all the other inmates to hear and take account of the genuineness of their faith. Theirs was a faith that triumphed in adversity as well as in happier times. 

Rudely awakened by the earthquake, rushing to the prison, seeing all the doors open, the jailer immediately assumed all his charges had escaped. Knowing he would be answerable with his life, in utter despair he decided to take the easy way out and end it all. How like many today, ‘. . . having no hope, and without God in the world’, so they end it all. 

The answers to his problems were at hand. No prisoners had fled—his job and his life were both safe. This still left the need of his soul, and so he appealed to the apostles and was told, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’. The answer was simple and immediate, and he grasped it with both hands. The change in the man was immediate and apparent to all. First he wanted to attend to the injuries inflicted on the apostles hours earlier. Then he wanted his household to be spoken to and saved—what a change they would see in a husband, a father, a master! Then he wanted all of them to be baptized—a night-time baptism, how unique! Finally, before returning Paul and Silas to their cell, he wanted them to receive a meal in his home, and as he rejoiced, no doubt he wanted to hear something of his new-found Saviour and his new life in Christ. 

How lovely to see someone like this saved and immediately becoming a soul winner. We need to be like him for God today. 

 

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