“Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said: “Yes.”
Roman citizenship offered valuable rights and immunities. Paul made use of his Roman citizenship on several occasions. Faced with scourging in Jerusalem, the apostle asked a Roman officer: “Is it lawful for you to scourge a Roman who has not been condemned?” It was not. When Paul pointed out that he was a Roman citizen by birth, “the men who were about to interrogate him under torture backed away from him; and the military commander became afraid.” (Acts 22:25-29) Paul’s citizenship under Roman law affected how he was treated in Philippi. (Acts 16:35-40) In Ephesus, the city recorder referred to the Roman legal system after he had calmed an angry mob. (Acts 19:35-41) Paul’s legal appeal while in Caesarea opened the way for him to make a defense of his faith before Caesar. (Acts 25:8-12) Thus, Roman law made possible “the defending and legally establishing of the good news.”
More bitter than death is the woman who is like a hunter’s net, whose heart is like dragnets, and whose hands are like prison chains.
True love was rare in the days of King Solomon of ancient Israel. He wrote: “One upright man out of a thousand I found, but a woman among them I have not found. This alone I have found: The true God made mankind upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” (Eccl. 7:27-29, ftn.) Largely as a result of the influence of foreign women who practiced Baal worship, moral standards had dropped so low in his day that Solomon found it difficult to find a man or a woman with good morals. Still, the poem he wrote some 20 years earlier, the Song of Solomon, shows that enduring love can exist between a man and a woman. It also vividly portrays what that love is like and how it is displayed. Both married and single worshippers of Jehovah can learn much about such love by carefully considering this Bible book. w15 1/15 5:2
You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the Law.
If we are to have Jehovah’s favor and blessing as individuals, we must support his organization and accept adjustments in our understanding of the Scriptures. Consider this: After Jesus’ death, there were thousands of Jewish Christians who were zealous for the Law and found it hard to break free from it. (Acts 21:17-20) With the help of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, however, they accepted the fact that they had been sanctified, not by means of sacrifices “offered according to the Law,” but “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.” (Heb. 10:5-10) Undoubtedly, most of those Christians of Jewish descent adjusted their thinking and moved ahead spiritually. We too need to study diligently and be open-minded when there are adjustments in the understanding of God’s Word or in our preaching work. w14 5/15 4:15