2 minute read.
Daily Verse: “Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks.” (Acts 21:34 ESV)
GINOSKO (1097): “Signifies to be takin in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, understand, or to understand completely.”[i]
Taking in knowledge.
Different people shouting different things sounds like our world today. In Paul’s case, he again finds himself amid turmoil as the crowd debates his actions. The more the crowd shouted, the more violent they became, forcing the soldiers to carry Paul into the barracks to safety.
The leaders of the Jerusalem church think Paul brought Trophimus, a Gentile, into an area of the temple reserved only for Jews. Because people witnessed Paul and Trophimus together in Ephesus, they assumed Paul committed the capital offense. The crowd becomes inflamed, arguing over whether Paul broke the Jewish law.
Knowing the facts means you understand the details. The people arguing over Paul’s guilt didn’t see him in the temple with Trophimus. One witness could stop the chaos, but none comes forth because Paul didn’t do the crime. Paul’s innocence incites the crowd further because no one can prove his guilt.
Drawing incorrect conclusions leads to chaos. Deciding without researching never ends well. People, including you and me, make wrong assumptions constantly. The circumstances and events of our lives mold our thinking and decision-making. Without realizing we judge, we judge, most of the time incorrectly.
Then we argue about our incorrect assumptions and judgments, determined to make others come to the same conclusion. Following Christ means learning to accept not knowing. Admitting you don’t have all the information stops the argument, especially when judging others.
Unless you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes, you have no right to judge them. You may think you know, but you don’t. Sinfulness comes with humanity; we all have it. And we all have good in us as well. Christ in us helps conquer our sinful nature, letting God’s light shine to the world.
Don’t judge unless you have all the facts. Lead with grace and mercy, sharing them with all you meet. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you from within, tapping into God’s all-knowing Spirit.
[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 60) Thomas Nelson