Read. Acts 16:25-40
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 All at once there was such a violent earthquake that it shook the prison’s foundations. The doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the open doors of the prison, he thought the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted loudly, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”
29 The jailer called for some lights, rushed in, and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He led them outside and asked, “Honorable masters, what must I do to be rescued?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your entire household.” 32 They spoke the Lord’s word to him and everyone else in his house. 33 Right then, in the middle of the night, the jailer welcomed them and washed their wounds. He and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his home and gave them a meal. He was overjoyed because he and everyone in his household had come to believe in God.
35 The next morning the legal authorities sent the police to the jailer with the order “Release those people.”
36 So the jailer reported this to Paul, informing him, “The authorities sent word that you both are to be released. You can leave now. Go in peace.”
37 Paul told the police, “Even though we are Roman citizens, they beat us publicly without first finding us guilty of a crime, and they threw us into prison. And now they want to send us away secretly? No way! They themselves will have to come and escort us out.” 38 The police reported this to the legal authorities, who were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 They came and consoled Paul and Silas, escorting them out of prison and begging them to leave the city.
40 Paul and Silas left the prison and made their way to Lydia’s house where they encouraged the brothers and sisters. Then they left Philippi.
Reflect. This is a powerful account where Paul and Silas put aside their personal comfort for the benefit of those that have imprisoned them. This act results in the spread of the gospel and in growth in the Christian community. In a way, this prison break story and conversion for the jailer is similar to the conversation that Paul experienced in Acts 9.
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