Acts 22:30–23:11 (ESV)
Paul Before the Council
30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.
23 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s
high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”
6 Now when
Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he
had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and
some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be
torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage,
for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
Today is a continuation of the readings for the last several days. Paul is taken before the Council
and things are not looking good. What does Paul do, he throws out a smoke screen and escapes. Well, sort of... He knows he is in a room filled with Pharisees and Sadducees. They have teamed up against the Christian movement. Paul
knows one thing, they don’t believe the same things. He tosses in the bait: “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” They bit it!
The Pharisees believe in a resurrection, angels, and the Holy Spirit while the Sadducees don’t. The bait worked, they turn on each other and it gets violent. The tribune sends soldiers back in to rescue Paul from the mob and takes him back
to the barracks. Then a really neat passage states “the Lord stood by him [Paul].” Well, He does. Jesus says “I am with you always!” The Lord spoke to Paul and said “Take courage, for as you have testified
to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” Paul knows that he is untouchable until he gets to Rome. The may hurt him and beat him, but he will be alive in Rome.
pray: O Lord, protect me from all evil. I give thanks that I can live in peace unto the end, knowing that heaven is my home. My body may die today, tomorrow, or 40 years from now, but I know my soul belongs to you. Amen.