Who Are You Lord

Paul is accused and because of the outcry of the crowd in the city, the military tribune takes Paul into custody. Paul asks to speak to the crowd and gives testimony of his life beginning with his persecution of Christians which the high priest and elders around him knew. They listen until Paul says Jesus told him in Acts 22:21 And he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’ ”. Again the crowd erupts and the tribune steps in. Paul invokes his rights as a Roman citizen and though held imprisoned, the tribune takes Paul before the Sanhedrin to get answers about the accusations against Paul. Recognizing that he will not get a fair hearing from these, the highest Jewish religious and governing body, he says in Acts 23:6 “I am being judged concerning the hope and the resurrection of the dead!” and they erupt again and again the tribune steps in to protect Paul. We expect that the religious people around us, those that call on the name of God, will be our helpers and protectors. Sadly, there are times when they are themselves the enemies of God. Who would expect that an unbeliever, a military man, the tribune, would be the chief defender of Paul? But Paul is exactly where Jesus wants him to be and he appears to Paul in Acts 23:11 And the next night the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage, for as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” 

Who Are You Lord

Acts 22:6–13
Paul is standing before the men of Israel and giving his testimony. He’s telling them that he was on his way to Damascus and on the road a bright light appeared to him, and a voice in

Acts 22:7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

It was Jesus confronting him in

Acts 22:8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene whom you are persecuting.’

Paul responded and Jesus instructed him in

Acts 22:10 So I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and proceed to Damascus, and there it will be told to you about all the things that have been appointed for you to do.’

The men of Israel are still listening.

God Has Appointed You To Know His Will

Acts 22:14–21
In his encounter with Jesus, Jesus tells Paul that he is being told the will of God so that he can be a witness to God to those people around and in particular that God was sending him to the Gentiles

Acts 22:15 because you will be a witness for him to all people of what you have seen and heard.


I Was Born a Citizen

Acts 22:22–30
When Paul told the man that we’re listening quietly to him that he was called to the Gentiles and that God was sending him to the Gentiles they raised their voices and started shouting “away with such a man from the earth” in

Acts 22:22 Now they were listening to him until this word, and they raised their voices, saying, “Away with such a man from the earth! For it is not fitting for him to live!”

As the crowd erupts again, the military Tribune stepped in again and brought Paul back to the barracks. Normally the Romans would flog prisoners to get information from them and the tribune commanded flogging for Paul to get to the truth. But Paul claims his rights as a Roman citizen in

Acts 22:25 But when they had stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it permitted for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?”

When the Tribune is informed that Paul claims Roman citizen he quickly inquires because, as Paul knows, he has the right to a trial before his accusers. So, in

Acts 22:27 So the military tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.”

and the tribune presses Paul on this point in

Acts 22:28 And the military tribune replied, “I acquired this citizenship for a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I indeed was born a citizen.”

The Tribune knew that he crossed the line and had treated Paul inappropriately. Now he steps back and holds Paul in prison overnight. But this has caused the tribune a lot of trouble so he then takes Paul the next morning before the Sanhedrin to get answers in

Acts 22:30 But on the next day, because he wanted to know the true reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to assemble, and he brought down Paul and had him stand before them.


I Have Lived My Life in All Good Conscience

Acts 23:1–11
As Paul begins to address the Sanhedrin he says to them “Men and brothers, I live my life and all the conscience before God to this day” in Acts 23:1. But the high priest has Paul struck in the mouth for this comment in

Acts 23:2 So the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike his mouth.

Paul is standing before the Sanhedrin, the highest religious and governing body of the Jewish law. Paul knows the law well and striking a witness is unacceptable so he reacts in

Acts 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! And are you sitting there judging me according to the law, and acting contrary to the law do you order me to be struck?”

Those around Paul explain that he has just condemned the high priest and Paul an apology in Acts 23:5. Paul realizes this whole assembly is overtaken by politics and he recognizes in the assembly his old life as a Pharisee when he himself sought to elevate himself as chief among them. As Paul realizes that there are Sadducees and Pharisees in the crowd, he uses their differing beliefs against them and says to them “I am being judged by the hope of the resurrection of the dead” in

Acts 23:6 Now when Paul realized that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he shouted out in the Sanhedrin, “Men and brothers! I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees! I am being judged concerning the hope and the resurrection of the dead!”

But Paul’s message wasn’t just about the resurrection of the dead, it was about the resurrection of the dead beginning with Jesus Christ. The whole assembly erupts again in

Acts 23:7 And when he said this, a dispute developed between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

When the dispute developed and it grew into loud shouting, the Tribune again took action to rescue Paul from the crowd and pulled him out and took him back to the barracks in

Acts 23:10 And when the dispute became severe, the military tribune, fearing lest Paul be torn apart by them, ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from their midst, and bring him into the barracks.

After these days of turmoil, with Paul again held imprisoned by the military Tribune because of the uproar of the Jews, the Lord appears to Paul and Says in

Acts 23:11 And the next night the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage, for as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Jews Made a Conspiracy to Kill Paul

Acts 23:12–22
The Jews made a conspiracy to kill Paul. Forty men vowed before the high priest that they would not eat or drink anything until Paul was dead.

Acts 23:12 And when it was day, the Jews made a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse, saying they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

But God will expose things that are hidden and there was a young man in the crowd that heard the conversation do you happen to be the sister of the son of Paul’s sister and they came and told Paul of this conspiracy.

So, they took the young man to the Tribune and the young man is a smart leader and took the Amanda side and ask him privately what had been going on and what he had heard that he told him the whole story of the conspiracy.

Acts 23:18 So he took him and brought him to the military tribune and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

Make Ready and Bring Paul Safely to the Governor

Acts 23:23–35
The Tribune didn’t waste any time he calls to centurions and said make ready 200 soldiers 70 Horseman and spear-man in

Acts 23:23 And he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Make ready from the third hour of the night two hundred soldiers and seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen, in order that they may proceed as far as Caesarea.

They provide amounts for Paul and prepared to take him to Felix the governor in Caesarea. The Tribune also wrote a letter to the governor outlining all of his actions to make sure that the governor knew that what he had done was for the peace of Jerusalem and to keep to the Jewish people and the rebellion in line.

Acts 23:25 He wrote a letter that had this form:

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Acts 22:6-30
  • Acts 23:1-35