Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thursday - Acts 23 - Paul in Jerusalem (part 3)



S we have already seen, Paul made no headway with the general population in Jerusalem. In this chapter, we discover that on the day after Paul had been arrested (essentially for his own protection); he was brought to trial before the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem. If he didn't get far with a large faction of the Jerusalem church, he made even less headway with the unbelieving religious/political leaders of the city. He was slapped on the mouth after his very first sentence (in which essentially all he said was that he wasn't guilty).

Realizing that he would get nowhere with these buzzards, Paul intentionally divided the court by declaring that he was on the side of the Pharisees. He recognized that there was a deep political, philosophical and religious division in the court. Some of the council members were Pharisees and some were Sadducees. It was certainly more advantageous for Paul for them to fight each other than for him to try to fight all of them. However, his opportunity to testify in this setting ended as quickly as it had begun. And again, the Roman captain had to rescue Paul from the violence of this crowd just as he had from the city mob only 1 day earlier.

The captain's efforts to protect Paul were not yet ended either.  A group of over 40 fanatic Jews plotted to murder Paul. If Paul's nephew hadn't gotten wind of this conspiracy and told Paul and the captain, he would have surely died the next day. But God had more ministry in mind for Paul. In fact, Jesus personally told Paul about this (Acts 23:11). Paul was destined to preach in Rome. But he had some places to stop along the way.  His first stop would be in the court of Felix the governor.  That's the one to whom the captain (Claudius Lysias) sent Paul. This was just the beginning though. As a prisoner, Paul would encounter so many people with whom he could share the gospel (folks to whom perhaps he could have never witnessed under any other circumstance). Consider the 470 men who transported Paul to Felix in the middle of the night. They must have been curious about why Paul demanded so much attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment