[Linux4christians] Saturday - Acts 23
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
Fri Nov 4 20:19:57 EDT 2011
23:1 Paul looked directly at the council and said, "Brothers, I have
lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day." 23:2 At
that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike
him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, "God is going to strike
you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the
law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?" 23:4 Those
standing near him said, "Do you dare insult God's high priest?" 23:5
Paul replied, "I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest,
for it is written, '/*You must not speak evil about a ruler of your
23:6 Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the
others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, "Brothers, I am a
Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the
resurrection of the dead!" 23:7 When he said this, an argument began
between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
23:8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or
spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 23:9 There was a great
commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees
stood up and protested strongly, "We find nothing wrong with this man.
What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" 23:10 When the argument
became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul
to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them
by force, and bring him into the barracks.
23:11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Have
courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you
must also testify in Rome."
The Plot to Kill Paul
23:12 When morning came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound
themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had
killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this
conspiracy. 23:14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and
said, "We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to partake of
anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council
request the commanding officer to bring him down to you, as if you were
going to determine his case by conducting a more thorough inquiry. We
are ready to kill him before he comes near this place."
23:16 But when the son of Paul's sister heard about the ambush, he came
and entered the barracks and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called one of the
centurions and said, "Take this young man to the commanding officer, for
he has something to report to him." 23:18 So the centurion took him and
brought him to the commanding officer and said, "The prisoner Paul
called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has
something to tell you." 23:19 The commanding officer took him by the
hand, withdrew privately, and asked, "What is it that you want to report
to me?" 23:20 He replied, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul
down to the council tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more
thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this,
because more than forty of them are lying in ambush for him. They have
bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they
have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to
their request." 23:22 Then the commanding officer sent the young man
away, directing him, "Tell no one that you have reported these things to
me." 23:23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Make ready
two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and
two hundred spearmen by nine o'clock tonight, 23:24 and provide mounts
for Paul to ride so that he may be brought safely to Felix the
governor." 23:25 He wrote a letter that went like this:
23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor Felix, greetings. 23:27
This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, when I
came up with the detachment and rescued him, because I had learned that
he was a Roman citizen. 23:28 Since I wanted to know what charge they
were accusing him of, I brought him down to their council. 23:29 I found
he was accused with reference to controversial questions about their
law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 23:30
When I was informed there would be a plot against this man, I sent him
to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges
against him before you.
23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and
brought him to Antipatris during the night. 23:32 The next day they let
the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 23:33
When the horsemen came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the
governor, they also presented Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor had
read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned
that he was from Cilicia, 23:35 he said, "I will give you a hearing when
your accusers arrive too." Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard
in Herod's palace.
Lord, You exposed the false teachers for the apostates that they were,
and You protected Paul via the secular Roman authorities so that he
could be Your instrument in Rome. May I rest in the truth that You
preserve that which is necessary to Your great and perfect plan.
Summary & Commentary
When Paul declared a clear conscience before God the high priest Ananias
[a common name] ordered those near Paul to strike him [because he had
preached Christ and had done so to the Gentiles, therefore they thought
him a liar and now a heretic]. Paul chastised them for violating the
law, they replied that to say so insulted the high priest, and Paul
apologized as he had not known that Ananias was "ruler of the people".
[Note: The leadership rotated because of the distrust and competition
among the religious leaders; Paul had been away for several years and
had lost touch with the powers-that-be.
Also, Paul referred to Exodus 22:28, which forbade disrespect for God or
the leader of His chosen people. Paul was not respecting the apostate
who held the office but the office itself - he would continue to call
upon them all to turn away from their false teaching as had Jesus before
Paul then played the Pharisees against the Sadducees on the matter of
resurrection, on which he knew that they strongly disagreed, and the
argument became so heated that the commander removed Paul again to the
barracks. The night the Lord encouraged him that he would share the same
testimony in Rome.
Some among the religious leaders plotted to kill Paul but his nephew
heard of it and informed him, and he sent him to the commander who
transferred him under heavy guard to the Roman Governor of the region,
Felix, in Caesarea. Based on the letter from the commander in Jerusalem
Felix had Paul confined and guarded in Herod's palace until the
religious leaders could arrive to present their charges against him.
One must carefully separate respect for an office from an endorsement of
a person or a policy. While the Bible teaches us to pay our taxes, to
obey and respect secular and religious authority (so long as they do not
demand that we disobey God), and to pray for our leaders it nowhere asks
Christians to be silent about sin.
Why would the Romans care if the Jews killed Paul?
Paul's history was of a zealous commitment to the truth, as he knew it
at the time, first as a zealous "Pharisee of Pharisees" (as he put it)
then sold-out to Christ when the blinders of tradition were removed.
When have you observed people with power attempting to silence someone
who was attempting to expose the truth?
Faith in Action
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a secular or Christian leader for
whom He wants you to pray that they listen to God.
Today I will search my own Christian walk for the kind of zealous
commitment to Christ that empowered Paul to be so bold.
Be Specific ______________________________________________________
Sunday's text will be: Acts 24:1-23
Draw nearer to the Lord and He will bless you,
Have an http://Ultrafidian.com Day!
David M. Colburn, DMin. MaCo
Savannah-Statesboro needs a Bible College/Seminary!
Personal Site: http://bibleseven.com
Bible Resources: http://bible.org
Teacher's Verse: John 7:16
I don't google I SEARCH! Yippy.com
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