We stock a lot of value in where we’re from. It can offer us security and promise us a better future. One of the all-time favourite interviews I got to do was with a University roommate after his family had just become Canadian citizens. They had fled Haiti from persecution, and to get status in Canada was pretty special.
When the Apostle Paul was first arrested in Jerusalem, it’s revealed to the commander taking him into barracks that he’s a Roman citizen.
The commander says in Acts 22:28, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. Over this sequence we get a glimpse into the Roman empire, the most powerful nation of the day. To have Roman citizenship earned you respect and it protected you. For outsiders like the commander, this could be purchased but at a high price.
While he does eventually get executed, what’s worth noting is how this new knowledge changes the way the Romans treat Paul. Sure, his unique heritage may have given him an access point to share the good news, but it was the good news that he would stake his life on.
Is this the same for you? Are you staking your security and future on being a follower of Jesus or being a Canadian?