Suffering and Deliverance (Part 44) - Paul (Part D)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
N. The Jews try to kill Paul in Jerusalem. i. Paul ended his third evangelistic trip by going to Jerusalem (Act 21:17). ii. At the behest of James, Paul went into the temple with four men that had a vow and purified himself with them (Act 21:26). iii. The Jews from Asia saw him in the temple, stirred up the people, and laid hands on him, making false accusations against him (Act 21:27-29). iv. They whipped up the crowd into a fervor, and they dragged him out the temple (Act 21:30). v. Just as they were ready to kill him, a military chief captain heard that Jerusalem was in an uproar (Act 21:31). vi. He went down with some soldiers to see what was happening, and when the Jews saw them they stopped beating Paul (Act 21:32). vii. The chief captain took Paul, bound him with two chains, and demanded who he was and what he had done (Act 21:33). viii. Because of the chaos of the crowd, the chief captain couldn't be certain what Paul had done so he ordered him to be taken into the castle (Act 21:34). ix. The crowd was so violent that the soldiers had to lift him up and carry him up the stairs (Act 21:35-36). x. While being led into the castle Paul asked the chief captain if he could speak with him (Act 21:37a). a. He was surprised that Paul could speak Greek (Act 21:37b). b. He thought he was an Egyptian that had previously made an uproar and led 4,000 murders into the desert (Act 21:38). c. No wonder he had bound Paul with two chains. xi. Paul explained to him that he was a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus and he asked to speak to the people (Act 21:39). a. He was given permission to speak from the stairs, and after beckoning the crowd to be quiet he began to speak to them in Hebrew and give his defense (Act 21:40 – Act 22:2). b. Paul recounted the story of his conversion, and the Jews listened attentively until he told them that Jesus told him that He was going to send him to the Gentiles (Act 22:21). c. As soon as they heard the word "Gentiles" they cried out and demanded his death (Act 22:22-23). xii. When the chief captain saw the people's reaction, he commanded that Paul be brought into the castle and scourged to find out why the people were crying out so vehemently against him (Act 22:24). a. This is quite the display of jurisprudence! b. Paul was considered guilty until proven innocent. xiii. As Paul was being tied down to be beaten he appeals to his rights as a Roman citizen (Act 22:25). a. This made the centurion concerned, so he reported it back to the chief captain (Act 22:26). b. When the soldiers learned of Paul's Roman citizenship they departed from him, and the chief captain was also scared when he found out that he had bound a Roman citizen (Act 22:27-29). c. The next day the chief captain loosed Paul from his bands and called the chief priests and the council to appear to hear their accusations against Paul (Act 22:30). xiv. Paul had been delivered by government intervention from death at the hands of the Jews. xv. He was also delivered from being brutally beaten by the Roman soldiers by appealing to his civil rights under the laws of the land. O. Paul is delivered from the council i. Paul was brought before a council of the high priest, Pharisees, and Sadducees, and he attempted to make a defense (Act 23:1). ii. For that the high priest ordered him to be hit in the mouth (Act 23:2). iii. Paul rebuked the high priest, not knowing he was the high priest, and then apologized for speaking evil of a ruler (Act 23:3-5). a. Remember that we must conduct ourselves as Christians even when being persecuted. b. We must never render evil or evil or railing for railing (1Pe 2:23; 1Pe 3:9). iv. Paul perceived that part of the council were Sadducees and the other part were Pharisees (Act 23:6a). a. It pays to pay attention to your surroundings and understand who your persecutors are. b. It is important to be educated and have a general knowledge of the beliefs of others in order to use it to our own advantage. c. He knew that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, but the Pharisees did (Luk 20:27; Act 23:8). d. Paul wisely used a divide-and-conquer technique to turn them against each other and deliver himself out of their hands. e. He cried out in the middle of the council that he was a Pharisee and was being called in question for his belief in the resurrection of the dead (Act 23:6b). v. This caused dissention and division between them (Act 23:7). a. The Pharisees who had been persecuting Paul in unison with the Sadducees all of a sudden started striving with them saying they find no evil in Paul (Act 23:9a). b. They hated the Sadducees worse than they hated Paul, so they became his friend due to a common enemy (Luk 23:12). c. They even took the opportunity to get another jab in by saying that if a spirit or an angel had spoken to Paul, then they didn't want to be fighting against God (Act 23:9b). d. They obviously said this to further enflame the Sadducees who didn't believe in angels or spirits (Act 23:8). e. This created a great dissention to the point that the chief captain had to send in soldiers to save Paul from being pulled in pieces (Act 23:10). f. Paul went from having his enemies fighting against him to fighting over him. g. The high priest must have been ready to pull his hair out seeing how Paul turned his persecutors against each other. vi. God had delivered Paul from his enemies again by giving him sound judgment and discernment. vii. The Lord stood by him that night and told him to be of good cheer because he would testify of Him in Rome as he had in Jerusalem (Act 23:11).
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