We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.
Jesus said, The student when fully trained will be like his Teacher!
We rightly interpret this to mean following in the steps of Jesus leads us to become more like Him. More loving, peaceful, joyful, merciful and kind, gentle, even powerful!
With Jesus as our Teacher and the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in our lives, we develop and mature in the traits of Jesus. It is very positive and satisfying to become a better person!
But it is equally true, the more students become like the Teacher, the more their life resembles His in ways that are not pleasant. The steps of Jesus lead in ways of struggle and danger. Even death!
This is why Jesus counsels those who prepare to follow Him to count the cost.
Now Paul knows from personal experience, both the joys and the struggles in walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
The Book of Acts not only records Paul’s wonderful successes in creating students for Jesus, but also many troubles he endured in the process. From the moment of his baptism in Damascus, Paul as been in danger of personal harm!
Here is yet another plot to kill him. Forty men vow not to eat until Paul is dead by their hands. One wonders whether they broke their vows or all died of hunger! For once again, God protects him through a warning from his nephew.
It is not one way for the Teacher and another way for students who follow Him. The steps of Jesus also lead to a cross. The cross of personal suffering!
Daily we suffer the death of selfishness and the cravings of human passions as we put them to death in order to live the life Jesus gives.
And like Paul, sometimes we suffer from the unkind words and actions of those who oppose us. But always the steps of Jesus led upward.