The Undeniable Truth

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#607: “The Undeniable Truth”
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47: Into the Light
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Acts 21:1-22:30
1After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara.2We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail.3After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo.4Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.5But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.6After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.7We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for a day.8Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.9He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.10After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.11Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"12When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.13Then Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."14When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."15After this, we got ready and went up to Jerusalem.16Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.17When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly.18The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present.19Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.20When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.21They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.22What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come,23so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.24Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.25As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."26The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.27When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,28shouting, "Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place."29(They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)30The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.31While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.32He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.33The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.34Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.35When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers.36The crowd that followed kept shouting, "Away with him!"37As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, "May I say something to you?" "Do you speak Greek?" he replied.38"Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert some time ago?"39Paul answered, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people."40Having received the commander's permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic :==Chapter 22==1"Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense."2When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said:3"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.4I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,5as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.6"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?'8"'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. "'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied.9My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.10"'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. "'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.'11My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.12"A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.13He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him.14"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.15You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.16And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'17"When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance18and saw the Lord speaking. 'Quick!' he said to me. 'Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.'19"'Lord,' I replied, 'these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you.20And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'21"Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"22The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, "Rid the earth of him! He's not fit to live!"23As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,24the commander ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and questioned in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this.25As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?"26When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. "What are you going to do?" he asked. "This man is a Roman citizen."27The commander went to Paul and asked, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes, I am," he answered.28Then the commander said, "I had to pay a big price for my citizenship." "But I was born a citizen," Paul replied.29Those who were about to question him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.30The next day, since the commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

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The Undeniable Truth
“The Undeniable Truth” is episode #607 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on December 23, 2006.

Summary

Hand-Up gets in hot water when a local newspaper accuses Eugene of stealing the donation money.

Plot

Leonard Meltsner is suffocating in Eugene and Katrina's home. Though Eugene tries to encourage his father to leave the house occasionally, Leonard is too afraid of Dalton Kearn to face the outside. Bored, Leonard asks for something to do. Eugene suggests that he assist Hand Up in their philanthropic efforts. He tells Leonard about their recent project to send Christmas presents to the Ashanti village with a program called Christmas For the Children. Leonard agrees to help Eugene fill out paperwork for the project, though he doesn't see as much value in the endeavors as Eugene does.

At Whit's End, Mayor Margaret Faye stops by to see Eugene. She confronts him with an article in the Odyssey Tattler which quotes a local garbage man who found boxes intended for Christmas for the Children in the trash. Eugene explains that they did discard some unused boxes and offers to put Margaret in contact with the people at the Christmas for the Children organization. Satisfied, Margaret thanks him for his cooperation.

Meanwhile, Leonard has found Eugene a job at Campbell College. Eugene tells his father that he's not interested and that he is much too busy with Hand Up. A disappointed Leonard throws a fit - claiming that Eugene's pursuits should be a hobby rather than a profession.

Margaret again confronts Eugene with the news that his contacts at Christmas for the Children have no record of his involvement with the project at all. When Eugene investigates, he discovers that Leonard signed the paperwork with an alibi rather than Eugene's name. Leonard rationalizes that Dalton Kearn could find Eugene if his name were attached to anything having to do with the Ashantis. Eugene has no way to explain the situation to reporters, since he cannot involve his father without putting him in danger, and struggles with a solution. Though Margaret believes Eugene, she needs proof to show reporters. Whit offers to use the Edu-Link, set up at the Ashanti village, to show the denizens of Odyssey that their packages were truly sent to the Ashantis. Margaret organizes a press conference to occur at the lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony at City Hall.

Whit visits Leonard and they discuss their beginnings in archaeology. Leonard tells Whit that when he was a boy he had wanted to be a cook before his father advised him to do something more important with his life. Leonard tells Whit how unenthusiastic he is about Eugene's work with Hand-Up, believing that Eugene is wasting his talents cleaning parks when he could be curing cancer. He expresses frustration that Eugene is devoting his life to spreading the gospel around Odyssey instead of doing things Leonard feels are more valuable. Leonard bitterly tells Whit that he feels Whit has turned Eugene into a robot and warns Whit that he will protect Eugene - even from Whit.

Though Eugene encourages his father to come to City Hall to watch the Ashantis opening their presents, but Leonard remains to afraid of Dalton. Eugene gives his father the second Edu-Link unit to watch and goes to City Hall for the ceremony. Unfortunately, the unit Eugene took to City Hall is not functional! Katrina hurries back home to get the other Edu-Link unit from Leonard. The unit at the house is working perfectly and Leonard is enjoying watching his friends open their presents. He admits that he has never seen them so happy. Katrina tells Leonard about the difficulties they are experiencing with the Edu-Link and leaves for City Hall with Leonard's unit. After she describes the distortion, Leonard turns on the TV to see the setup at City Hall. He calls Eugene to try to tell him what's wrong, but Eugene doesn't answer.

When Katrina arrives with the Edu-Link, just in time for the press conference, Eugene sets it up only to encounter the same distortion as before. Panicking, Eugene tries to solve the difficulties. His father runs up and convinces Eugene to move, suggesting that the statue they are set up near is made of a natural magnet that is causing the interference. Sure enough, when they move away the feed begins to broadcast, showing the Ashantis with the gifts the people of Odyssey sent. Leonard disappears and Eugene finds him back at his house. Eugene apologizes that his father had to leave the house and Leonard replies that it was an emergency. When pressed, he admits that seeing the kids on the video helped him realize how beneficial the work Eugene is doing truly is, and that Eugene has found his calling. He then tells Eugene something he's never heard from his father: that he is proud of him.

Discussion Questions

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Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Katrina Meltsner Audrey Wasilewski
Leonard Meltsner Phil Proctor
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Margaret Faye Alexandra Kenworthy
Ken Blanchard Spencer Binford

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Wooton Bassett Eugene Meltsner
Thelma Meltsner Leonard Meltsner
Dalton Kearn Leonard Meltsner
Garvey Hiram Meltsner Leonard Meltsner
Gobir Leonard Meltsner
Aman Leonard Meltsner
Kwame Katrina Meltsner

Notes

Trivia
Allusions
  • Leonard uses the alias "Gordon Shumway" in this episode. This is the name of fictional alien Alf, from the famous sit-com of the same name.
  • In the closing wrap up, Chris calls this episode "An Undeniable Truth" — possibly a reference to the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Reviews

Quotes

Katrina Meltsner: Leonard!
Leonard Meltsner: You should be on my side, Katrina! You know he's better than this! His mother never would have stood for wasted potential, and you shouldn't either!
Katrina Meltsner: I don't stand for wasted potential. I happen to believe that what Eugene does is admirable.
Leonard Meltsner: What Eugene does should be a hobby, not a life pursuit.

Leonard Meltsner: I see more influence coming from you than God. I believe you've made him into a robot. I will protect my son, Mr. Whittaker.

Leonard Meltsner: I'm proud of you.
Eugene Meltsner: Dad, I've been wanting to hear that for a long time.

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