Question: Are we speaking of Christ in public?
37 Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I speak to you?” He replied, “Can you speak Greek?
38 “Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?”
39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.”
40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
In summary, as Paul was being led up the steps, he asks if he can speak to the people. Paul convinces the commander that he is a Jew and not that Egyptian terrorist. The commander gives Paul permission to speak.
This part of the historical account is amazing when you think about it. The crowd is so hostile and yelling at Paul, but Paul thinks to request to give them a speech. And who would believe that the commander would actually give him permission?
Possibly the Holy Spirit gave Paul this idea. Or maybe he knew he was going to be captured by the Jews from all the prophetic warnings, and he had thought ahead of time of what he would say. However, Jesus did promise that when his disciples are taken captive the Holy Spirit would give them words to say.
Are we speaking of Christ in public?
Obvious I have never suffered persecution, so I cannot make a direct application. But an experience came to mind that I would like to share about speaking in public. I volunteer at the court youth residential center. I serve by teaching Bible and faith based beginner guitar to the youth. I had just finished teaching several classes of girls for about a year and a half. The new girls didn’t have an interest in the class, so I asked permission if I could offer the class to the boys. The director consented and said I could speak to all the boys the next week about the class. The next week I was thinking about what to share about myself and about the guitar class. I figured I would tell about how I became interested in the guitar, and I would play a few songs for them. But then I thought, this would be a good time to give my testimony on how I became a Christian. Then the day came, and they brought in all the boys into the entry way lobby (not the greatest place for a speech – noisy vending machine, low lighting, few chairs). I played my first song. I messed up the singing, but no one seemed to mind. I sang anther song: What a friend we have in Jesus. My nerves were easing, and I sang that song much better. I told about myself, and then I boldly told them my testimony. Like Paul’s crowed, the group was totally silent when they began to listen. It was amazing how attentive they were when I start to list a few of my past sins from my teenage years, and how I came to Christ and received forgiveness for my sins. I then spoke a little about the class, and then I passed around the sign up sheet for the class. As the sign up sheet was going around, I was shaking hands and learning names. I had no idea who was interested. However, to my surprise, nine boys signed up to take the class. The director and I were encouraged. I wonder how many in Paul’s crowed secretly believed what Paul was telling them and wanted to hear more?
For us non-pastors, our public speaking opportunities are far and few between. But when speaking opportunities arise, will we step up and be bold?
How about you? Are you sharing when God permits you to speak? Think of some opportunities.
I appreciate many celebrities and professional athletes who take their opportunities in front of the public to tell of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Have you ever been asked to give the prayer at a family reunion or at church?
Are you a coach of a youth sports team, and you have had opportunities to tell about yourself in front of the kids and their parents?
Have you had any opportunities at work when you are put on the spot to speak about yourself to others?
These are all great times to thank Jesus for saving your soul in a public setting. Yes I have failed to acknowledge Him many of these settings. Let us repent and be bold in those opportunities.
Matthew 10:33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.