-Paul defends himself before the Council of the Jews declaring his life lived under a good conscience before God. Ananias had him illegally struck on the mouth for this comment and Paul rebuked him strongly in the presence of all. However, when he found out that Ananias was the high priest, he retracted his comments and apologized in accordance to the Law (Exodus 22:28, Acts 23:1-5). *Application* Ananias’ inability to follow the very Law that he was supposed to be chief priest over left him unrecognizable to Paul. The same can happen to us if we are covert Christians who do not really represent Christ Jesus. Do people actually know who you are in this world, O Christian?
-Paul then astutely divides the Council with his “hope and resurrection of the dead” beliefs. This led to a great dissension and the binding of Paul being taken into the custody of Roman barracks (Acts 23:6-10). “But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also (Acts 23:11).’”
-This orchestrates the vow made on Paul by 40 Jews to kill him. Paul’s nephew learns of this mayhem and saves Paul’s life. Paul makes his way to Caesarea Maritima under custody of the Romans and is incarcerated in the official governor’s residence of Herod’s Praetorium waiting to appear before Felix, the governor (Acts 23:12-35).
-*Application* The voice of the Lord is sure. His promises never fail and we can count on every one of them. The Lord stands beside His chosen people. Paul does end up in Rome spreading the gospel of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Verse to Memorize: Acts 23:11