While Paul was in Corinth Jesus appeared to him by night, saying, “I have many people in this city.”
That must have been reassuring for Paul, because Corinth was a place with a bad reputation. Built on a narrow isthmus, both the east and west sides of town were sea ports. On the Aegean side goods from the Orient were unloaded to be carried across Corinth to be shipped across the Adriatic to Venice. That carting through the streets offered opportunities for pilfering. Thievery was not Corinth’s only unholy profession. Many hundreds of young women were employed in temples where sailors appeased Diana and Neptune by intimacies with the ladies. All around the Mediterranean prostitutes were referred to as Corinthian girls.
So, if even in Corinth the Lord had many people of whom he was proud, he must have many more here in Jacksonville. The news media employs itself showing us what evil takes place in a city like this. The limitless good and generous deeds carried out all around us go mostly unnoticed.
My own experience has been most heartening. I ride the busses, and I take long walks through our neighborhoods, and I encounter an endless stream of friendliness and kindness. Jesus could well say, “I have many people in this city.”