Monday, June 12

Be a troublemaker

Scripture: Acts 24

Acts 24:5 For we have found this man to be a troublemaker, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.


This is the accusation that Jewish lawyer Tertullus made to Governor Felix about Paul. The general thrust of it is that Paul was dangerous to the public peace, that he was guilty of sedition, a crime that the governor had to take seriously since he was charged with keeping the peace.

Paul was a troublemaker; literally, “a plague”.  A pest, a public menace, a troublemaker. 

He stirs up riots among the Jews throughout the world. Riots, insurrections, seditions, rebellion against authority. This was the serious political charge—he was a threat to the public peace.

He was a ringleader of the Christians—“the sect of the Nazarenes.” 

These were the charges. The second and most serious was not true, and the book of Acts consistently portrays the Christians as no threat to the Roman empire. The first was partly true—trouble seemed to follow Paul, but it was “good trouble.” The third was completely true—Paul was a leader among Christians. 


A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Rep. John Lewis, one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s. One of his famous quotes is: “Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”

If you are in trouble for doing good, that’s good trouble. 

Paul was a troublemaker, but it was good trouble. May I do the same. Today, let’s be a troublemaker, but let’s make good trouble, necessary trouble by sharing the gospel, loving and serving people, and working for justice. 

Prayer: Lord, I love You and I want to be a troublemaker like Paul. Use me today to make good trouble, to share Your good news with others and to work for the good. 

More: 2 Kings 9-10, Psalm 69, Colossians 4

Colossians 4:2 Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.