I became a believer just beyond the city walls. There were regular services with Jewish God-fearing people, meeting beside the river on the Sabbath day. Women sat on one side, and men on the other. On this particular Sabbath, a teacher approached our women’s group, sat down, and clearly shared the good news of Jesus with us. I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but God opened my understanding. I felt so dirty and unworthy because of my sins. The way the teacher explained what Jesus did for me, I could only cry out to Him for my soul’s salvation.
My heart was unburdened in that moment. Joy and peace filled me, and I began to praise God. It wasn’t long before my whole household believed in Jesus as Messiah. I was baptized, and so were they.
I am fortunate to be a woman of means. Knowing Jesus makes me want to serve Him. One way I do this is by opening my spacious home to God’s servants. I began showing hospitality to the teacher who led me to Christ, along with those traveling with him.
When I opened my home and my heart, believe me, I received more from my visitors than I could ever have given. The talk around my table—teaching, laughter, sharing blessings and experiences—I learned so much from my new brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Not long after my decision to follow Christ, two of the teachers were jailed in my city. They were flogged and locked in a cell, their feet clamped in irons. They actually sang and praised God after experiencing that. Instead of bitterness, they demonstrated their joy in Jesus. That’s not all. These two men used the opportunity to preach to the other prisoners. Hurting and bleeding and not able to move, they cared for other peoples’ souls.
God honored their faithfulness and sent an earthquake. I felt it in my home. Water sloshed in the fountain, and a large oil jar tipped over and broke. Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of oil in that pot, and that was the extent of it. Apparently, the earthquake inside the city was strong enough to free all the prisoners. The prison keeper saw that the gates were open and was about to kill himself, surmising that all had run away.
But the prisoners hadn’t left. They called out to the jailor. He was later saved when he listened to the gospel. When he invited the teacher to come to his home, the prison keeper’s family and household were saved—just as mine had been. The jailor washed the teachers’ stripes and cared for them.
Unfortunately, the governors expelled the teachers from our city. They lodged at my house outside the wall, where one of my servants tended to their physical needs until they were well enough to travel again. All the while, the teachers invited our church members into my home and comforted them. These men were suffering, yet they comforted others.
What a blessing it has been to host these men of faith!
Who am I?
Outside which city do I live?
I’m a working woman. What do I do for a living?
Who were the two teachers that went to jail?
What spiritual lesson can we learn from my story?
And, for added credit, do you think this biblical woman was married, a widow, or single–and why?