Bigger Grace: The Same Sosthenes?

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes.” (1 Corinthians 1:1)

We’re trying to wrap our minds around the huge idea of grace this week and starting with Paul’s pen man for his letter to the Christians in Corinth. Scholars guess this might be the same guy – with the same name – who dragged Paul in front of a Roman court in Corinth in Acts 18 trying to get him jailed or killed for converting so many people to Christianity.

grace_350That Sosthenes was the Jewish “synagogue ruler” who had his case thrown out by the Roman judge and then got beat up by an angry Gentile mob of people who hated the Jews. That’s the last we hear of him, lying beaten on the street while Paul goes back to spreading the good news about Jesus.

Then this verse quite a while later. What an amazing story if this is the same guy. It would mean that, like the synagogue leader in Corinth before him, Sosthenes also believed in Jesus, putting all of his hope in the grace and forgiveness of God instead of following the Law – and went to work with the same apostle he tried to get arrested.

God’s grace works like that, converting enemies into family members, granting the highest privileges to the worst of sinners, offering forgiveness in exchange for simple belief. Stay tuned.

Think: Do you know anyone who lived the worst kind of life – even hating God – before finally coming to faith in Christ and the promise of heaven? Does that bother you or excite you?

Pray: Ask God to help you to better understand his grace this week.

Do: Read the whole story of Paul and then Sosthenes in Acts 18:1-17.