14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” (Acts 18:14–15)
The unconverted Corinthian Jews accused Paul of sedition against the Roman government (Acts 18:12-13). Their accusations were a conspiracy of lies intending to silence Paul’s preaching of the Gospel. They wanted Paul arrested for a rebellion against Roman law. In reality, they were offended by his peaching against justification, or salvation, by observance to Jewish religious law. The Jews’ mistake was their use of the word law.
One biblical commentator writes, “If the expression should refer to Roman law, they (the Jews) would have to prove that Paul was a security risk to Rome. If it concerned the religious law of the Jews, they would meet Gallio’s refusal to hear evidence against Paul. The Jews defeated their own purpose by their choice of words.”
Paul was ready, willing and able to defend himself, and more importantly the Gospel. However, Gallio took the situation in hand. He said to the Jews, ““If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.”
Gallio understood that the issue at hand belonged in the Jewish synagogue and not in the Roman courts. It was a spiritual and religious issue, and not a legal one.
As a result, Paul was now free to minister; not only in the City of Corinth but also in the region of Achaia. The Lord Jesus indeed protected Paul from harm (Acts 18:9-10).
Take time today to consider how the Lord has protected you from harm. As a friend of mine recently posted on social media, “Don’t worry about the people God removed from your life. He heard conversations you didn’t, saw things you couldn’t, and made moves you wouldn’t.”
Like Paul, our lives are in our Savior’s hands. Thank you Lord for your providential care.
Soli deo Gloria!