So this observation is nothing new…just a new realization for me.
I’ve been reading in Acts, and this morning, the chunk I read included the end of chapter 21 and the beginning of chapter 22. To set the scene, Paul is in the middle of yet another protest, this time in Jerusalem. He is facing a Roman captain, who asks the crowd who Paul is and what he has done to create such an uproar, but he can’t understand them because, well, it’s a riot.
So Paul asks the Roman captain, in Greek, if he can speak to the crowd.
The captain says yes, and Paul stands on the barracks steps to speak…in Hebrew. That gets the crowd’s attention, and they listen.
I knew that Paul’s Roman citizenship was a powerful tool in keeping him alive, among other things, and getting him to Rome. Clearly, his Jewish identity was also helpful in bridging differences between Jews and Gentiles. The language use in this relatively quick exchange struck me, though. It’s pretty cool to see how God uses every aspect of life, experience, and background for His glory.
In other language-related, for-God’s-glory news, this year saw the delivery of Matthew and Mark to the Fulbe people of Cameroon in their heart language. I was privilged to go to school with an MK in fourth grade. Her family is serving with Wycliffe in Bible translation, and she is now raising support to return to Cameroon with Wycliffe as well. Up for translation/completion/publication this year: the letters of Paul, Genesis, 1 and 2 Samuel, Luke, John, and Exodus.