Acts 27:3 “The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.”
Through the persecution in Jerusalem believers had scattered everywhere planting churches along their way and so we see in Sidon where the boat docked Paul’s ‘friends’ were here. Luke records how the centurion Julius showed an act of kindness to Paul. The word ‘kindness’ here simply means ‘the decent thing to do, a civilised act’. Paul on his journey to Rome and he knows that death could await him there along the way is having acts of kindness shown to him. In your most troubled hour there can be kindness close by. A kindness that confirms you are doing the right thing; that strengthens and encourages you to keep going; kindness that provides for your needs. Just see the holy week of Jesus:
- The owner of the donkey and colt willingly gave them to Jesus to ride on.
- Simon the Leper (he had most probably been healed) gave his home in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, so that each night Jesus could sleep there.
- The woman who anointed his head with perfume in the Bethany home.
- The man who gave the upper room of his house so that Jesus could eat the Passover meal with his disciples.
- The soldiers who offered wine mixed with myrrh, used to dull the pain, but Jesus tasted and then refused to drink it. (Jesus did drink a sour wine later, but this offer was less of a kindness and more of a male bystander wanting to keep him alive longer to see what might happen after some thought he was calling on Elijah).
Throughout the harrowing week for Jesus there were ordinary people who showed small acts of kindness to him. There were probably a few more unrecorded.
In our time of difficulty we must not focus solely on what is ahead of us that we miss those acts of kindness around us.
Maybe today God wants you not only to be thankful for a friend but for you to be that friend for someone else who is journeying to their destiny and needs kindness shown to them. Are you ready today?