Acts 22

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‘So the commander went over and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied. “I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!” Paul answered, “But I am a citizen by birth!”’ (Acts 22:27-28 NLT).

July 4, 2019

REMEMBERING OUR DUAL CITIZENSHIP Paul’s Roman citizenship was often a help to him as he traveled throughout the empire spreading the gospel. Being a Roman citizen gave him certain rights. One of those rights was the right to a trial before any punishment might be administered. It was this right that Paul brought to the… Read more »

“After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance” (Acts 22:17 NLT).

July 4, 2018

PAUL’S UNIQUE CONVERSION AND CALL FROM JESUS
In Paul’s testimony to the angry crowd in Jerusalem, he told of an earlier time when he saw a vision of Jesus while praying in the Temple. The time may have been his first return to Jerusalem “three years” (Gal. 1:18) after his conversion in Damascus and time spent in Arabia. This is the only mention in Scripture of Paul’s “trance” and vision in the Temple. Although it may be the same vision he spoke of in his letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 12:1-4), the specific instruction from Jesus telling him to leave Jerusalem and go to the Gentiles, was not mentioned elsewhere.

At any rate, Paul described a state of “ecstasy” (Greek: ἐκστάσει, ekstasei – “trance”) while praying in the Temple of Jerusalem, where Jesus appeared to him with instructions to take the gospel to the Gentiles. The crowd had listened quietly to Paul’s testimony up until this point, but when he spoke of going to the Gentiles, they erupted in anger.

Of all the apostles, Paul’s call from Jesus was unique. Unique, not so much in content, as occasion. The other apostles had seen the resurrected Jesus in the flesh and were sent out to tell others. But the occasion(s) of Paul’s conversion and commissioning was from Jesus making special appearances after His ascension. As Paul once wrote, “Then last of all He [Jesus] was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor. 15:8-9).

“Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater” (Acts 22:1-2 NLT).

July 3, 2018

PAUL SAW HIS PERSECUTION AS A PLATFORM
When a riot broke out in Jerusalem concerning Paul’s presence there, many in the crowd tried to kill Paul. However, the Roman guard was alerted and intervened, putting Paul in chains and taking him away. Paul considered the great crowd still following and asked the Roman Commander for permission to speak to them. This was an unusual request. Yet even more unusual was that after Paul spoke to the commander in fluent Greek, which clearly impressed him, the commander gave Paul permission. At this, Paul began to give his Damascus road testimony in Aramaic, calling those that sought to murder him, “brothers and esteemed fathers.” When the crowd heard Paul speaking in their own language they stopped yelling and shouting and grew silent as Paul gave his testimony.

When most would be concerned about defending their own life, Paul was focused on defending the faith. He saw the great crowd gathered to persecute him as a platform, an opportunity, to share the gospel with them