Roman Empire was one of its kind; It was a place everyone wanted to be, the superpower of the day. However, the big empire did not last endlessly. Byzantine in 4th Century AD soon replaced it.
Now consider this:
Paul is arrested in Jerusalem by Roman law enforcers (Soldiers). The commander in charge (probably the OCPD of those days) tells Paul that he paid through the nose to acquire Roman citizenship (Acts 22:28). On the other hand, Paul was born a Roman citizen; he did not earn it.
Not only is Paul a Roman citizen but a Kingdom of God citizen too. He has dual citizenship; both freely acquired. If Paul were to be stripped off of his Roman citizenship, he would still have a place of refuge – The Kingdom of God.
The Roman soldier pays heavily to become a Roman citizen. He does not know the citizenship he paid for is resting on shifting sand. He does not know there is another sort of changeless citizenship that is given freely. He spent his resources on non-important ‘items’ at the expense of the critical one, which comes free of charge.
I guess the commander was proud of his Roman citizenship. You cannot pay for something – worth a king’s ransom – that you won’t pride yourself in.
Big Question: Are we spending our resources on items that are set on sinking sand?
Are we proud of expensive stuff when there are free and essential things we are missing?
Are our priorities upside down like those of the decorated Roman commander?
What do we value most in life? What will remain of us, if what we deem mattering was to be taken away?
The Roman commander put Paul in chains thinking he wasn’t a Roman citizen. He regretted that.
Are we treating important things with disdain?
You might be holding something indispensable in chains!