Paul’s Lame Excuse

In Your Bible: Acts 22 and 23

In Jerusalem Paul tells the crowd greeting him what God has done through him in Asia Minor. Then he was arrested, lashed and taken before the Jewish high council. No guilt is found against Paul, yet he confronts the high priest. Paul would witness to the glory of God in Rome, whatever the cost.

Paul Arrested

Paul is encouraged by his welcome in Jerusalem. However, again trouble visited him by a boisterous crowd. After he is arrested and lashed by Roman soldiers, he reveals he’s a Roman citizen. This changes everything for the commander of Roman soldiers who demands Paul be taken to the priest and high Council.

Before the High Council

Paul stood before the high council and defended himself. He said. . . “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth (Acts 23: 1,2 NASB). This brutality was for the disrespect Paul displayed.

Paul, retorted . . . “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law, order me to be struck?” (Acts 23: 3 NASB). Paul defended his outrageous accusation and said . . . “I didn’t realize he was the high priest” (Acts 23:5 NASB).

Paul, how could you not know? He did know that he should respect the high priest. After the lashing by the Roman soldiers, he seemed to focus only on himself. Maybe we too would be in a dazed state under such stress.

You may have heard this accusation is against the priests, pharisees and sadducees often in sermons. Really the point here really is Paul cannot stand these religious leaders missing what God is doing among the Gentiles. What a shame.

Now two sets of people, the crowd and the high council were in an uproar. This initiated the need to call the Roman officers to calm the raucous crowd. They imprisoned Paul that night for his own safety.

God Ministers to Paul

When Paul was in prison that night, the Lord said to him . . . “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also” (Acts 23:11 NASB). Paul would witness to the glory of God in Rome, whatever the cost.

Prayer: Father, help me be a witness to your glory and grace daily.

Questions: When was the last time you blurted out something you knew was wrong the instant you said it? When has someone has come to your rescue in a trying situation?