In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:32-33
In one of my earliest years in Sunday school–I think I might have been seven years old, or possibly six–our teacher used to teach from a printed handout that we could take home with us, a different one each week. Each one was illustrated with a large, color picture of the Bible story described in the lesson. I don’t remember being able to read these: the teacher or a family member (usually my Uncle Bernie) had to read it to me.
But I remember some of those pictures as if I’d only seen them yesterday. Remembered them for all this time. I guess you’d have to say they were an effective teaching tool.
Among the lessons I remember best was Paul’s escape from Damascus, after they were going to arrest him for preaching the Gospel there: how all the gates of the city were watched, so the disciples helped him get over the wall by letting him down in a basket. Probably a laundry basket.
No Greek or Roman historian would have recorded such a thing. It was undignified! What kind of hero has to escape his enemies in a basket? And if it did happen, the sooner it could be forgotten, the better.
But the Bible is true.
Do you honestly think this story of the basket would be in there, if it wasn’t true? Was that any way to pump up the stature of the leaders of the early church? “Wow, I wanna join! When the cops came for the leader, he got away in a laundry basket!” Yeah, right. You couldn’t tell that story in a presidential campaign, unless you were telling it about your opponent.
Think about that. If you read the Bible and are familiar with its content, you’ll run out of time before you run out of examples.