The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.” But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!” When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town. (Acts of the Apostles 16:35-40 NLT)
What a way to leave town. The magistrates wanted Paul and Silas to leave secretly. Paul took the opportunity to let the magistrates know of their Roman citizenship. No Roman citizen could be punished without due process of law. By beating Paul and Silas publicly, the magistrates feared for their own jobs and/or lives. Paul requested that the magistrates come and personally bring them
out into the public and free them. The magistrates came and kindly asked Paul and Silas to leave the city. Rather than leave immediately, they returned to the home of Lydia (the first convert to Christianity in Europe) and encouraged the believers. They, then, departed. Philippi would never be the same again!
May God use us to change our cities and communities! In Jesus name! Amen!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris