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Lesson 11 - Arrest in Jerusalem

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james423

Overall Question: What circumstances led to Paul's arrest by the Romans?

Memory Text: Acts 23:11 New International Reader’s Version The next night the Lord stood near Paul. He said, “Be brave! You have told people about me in Jerusalem. You must do the same in Rome.”

 

Sunday – Meeting the Jerusalem Leaders

Acts 21:23-26 New English Translation 23 So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law. 25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.” 26 Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them.

Acts 23:24 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES All, probably, that they wished Paul to show by this was, that he was not an enemy of Moses. They who gave this counsel were Christians, and they could not wish him to do anything which would imply that he was not a Christian.

 

Monday – Riot in the Temple

Acts 21:27-36 New Century Version 27 When the seven days were almost over, some of his people from Asia saw Paul at the Temple. They caused all the people to be upset and grabbed Paul. 28 They shouted, “People of Israel, help us! This is the man who goes everywhere teaching against the law of Moses, against our people, and against this Temple. Now he has brought some Greeks into the Temple and has made this holy place unclean!” 29 (They said this because they had seen Trophimus, a man from Ephesus, with Paul in Jerusalem. They thought that Paul had brought him into the Temple.) 30 All the people in Jerusalem became upset. Together they ran, took Paul, and dragged him out of the Temple. The Temple doors were closed immediately. 31 While they were trying to kill Paul, the commander of the Roman army in Jerusalem learned that there was trouble in the whole city. 32 Immediately he took some officers and soldiers and ran to the place where the crowd was gathered. When the people saw them, they stopped beating Paul. 33 The commander went to Paul and arrested him. He told his soldiers to tie Paul with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done wrong. 34 Some in the crowd were yelling one thing, and some were yelling another. Because of all this confusion and shouting, the commander could not learn what had happened. So he ordered the soldiers to take Paul to the army building. 35 When Paul came to the steps, the soldiers had to carry him because the people were ready to hurt him. 36 The whole mob was following them, shouting, “Kill him!”

Acts 21:27 COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW HENRY The informers against him were the Jews of Asia, not those of Jerusalem--the Jews of the dispersion, who knew him best, and who were most exasperated against him. Those who seldom came up to worship at the temple in Jerusalem themselves, but contentedly lived at a distance from it, in pursuit of their private advantages, yet appeared most zealous for the temple, as if thereby they would atone for their habitual neglect of it… The method they took was to raise the mob, and to incense them against him. They did not go to the high priest, or the magistrates of the city, with their charge (probably because they expected not to receive countenance from them), but they stirred up all the people, who were at this time more than ever disposed to any thing that was tumultuous and seditious, riotous and outrageous. Those are fittest to be employed against Christ and Christianity that are governed least by reason and most by passion; therefore Paul described the Jewish persecutors to be not only wicked, but absurd unreasonable men.

 

Tuesday – Before the Crowd

Acts 22:22-29 Good News Translation 22 The people listened to Paul until he said this; but then they started shouting at the top of their voices, “Away with him! Kill him! He's not fit to live!” 23 They were screaming, waving their clothes, and throwing dust up in the air. 24 The Roman commander ordered his men to take Paul into the fort, and he told them to whip him in order to find out why the Jews were screaming like this against him. 25 But when they had tied him up to be whipped, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it lawful for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn't even been tried for any crime?” 26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked him, “What are you doing? That man is a Roman citizen!” 27 So the commander went to Paul and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” answered Paul. 28 The commander said, “I became one by paying a large amount of money.” “But I am one by birth,” Paul answered. 29 At once the men who were going to question Paul drew back from him; and the commander was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had put him in chains.

Acts 22:25 PEOPLE’S NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY The centurion at once pauses, tell his commander to beware; no officer dared to lay a hand in violence on a Roman citizen without trial. The claim was at once allowed, for it was a capital offense to make a false claim of citizenship, and none dared attempt it. "He who falsely pretended to Roman citizenship was beheaded on the Esquiline hill." --Suetonius. A constant traveler like Paul would be likely to carry papers that would prove his claims.

Acts 22:1-21 God’s Word Translation “Brothers and fathers, listen as I now present my case to you.” 2 When the mob heard him speak to them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet. Then Paul continued, 3 “I’m a Jew. I was born and raised in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia and received my education from Gamaliel here in Jerusalem. My education was in the strict laws handed down by our ancestors. I was as devoted to God as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted people who followed the way of Christ: I tied up men and women and put them into prison until they were executed. 5 The chief priest and the entire council of our leaders can prove that I did this. In fact, they even gave me letters to take to the Jewish community in the city of Damascus. I was going there to tie up believers and bring them back to Jerusalem to punish them. 6 “But as I was on my way and approaching the city of Damascus about noon, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice asking me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?’ 8 “I answered, ‘Who are you, sir?’ “The person told me, ‘I’m Jesus from Nazareth, the one you’re persecuting.’ 9 “The men who were with me saw the light but didn’t understand what the person who was speaking to me said. 10 “Then I asked, ‘What do you want me to do, Lord?’ “The Lord told me, ‘Get up! Go into the city of Damascus, and you’ll be told everything I’ve arranged for you to do.’ 11 “I was blind because the light had been so bright. So the men who were with me led me into the city of Damascus. 12 “A man named Ananias lived in Damascus. He was a devout person who followed Moses’ Teachings. All the Jews living in Damascus spoke highly of him. 13 He came to me, stood beside me, and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ At that moment my sight came back and I could see Ananias. 14 “Ananias said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the one who has God’s approval, and to hear him speak to you. 15 You will be his witness and will tell everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for now? Get up! Be baptized, and have your sins washed away as you call on his name.’ 17 “After that, I returned to Jerusalem. While I was praying in the temple courtyard, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord. He told me, ‘Hurry! Get out of Jerusalem immediately. The people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’ 19 “I said, ‘Lord, people here know that I went from synagogue to synagogue to imprison and whip those who believe in you. 20 When Stephen, who witnessed about you, was being killed, I was standing there. I approved of his death and guarded the coats of those who were murdering him.’ 21 “But the Lord told me, ‘Go! I’ll send you on a mission. You’ll go far away to people who aren’t Jewish.’”

 

Wednesday – Before the Sanhedrin

Acts 23:1-5 Contemporary English Version Paul looked straight at the council members and said, “My friends, to this day I have served God with a clear conscience!” 2 Then Ananias the high priest ordered the men standing beside Paul to hit him on the mouth. 3 Paul turned to the high priest and said, “You whitewashed wall! God will hit you. You sit there to judge me by the Law of Moses. But at the same time you order men to break the Law by hitting me.” 4 The men standing beside Paul asked, “Don’t you know you are insulting God’s high priest?” 5 Paul replied, “Oh! I didn’t know he was the high priest. The Scriptures do tell us not to speak evil about a leader of our people.”

Acts 23:6-10 Easy-to-Read Version 6 Paul knew that some of the men in the council meeting were Sadducees and some were Pharisees. So he shouted, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee and my father was a Pharisee! I am on trial here because I believe that people will rise from death.” 7 When Paul said this, a big argument started between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The group was divided. 8 (The Sadducees believe that after people die, they will not live again as an angel or as a spirit. But the Pharisees believe in both.) 9 All these Jews began shouting louder and louder. Some of the teachers of the law, who were Pharisees, stood up and argued, “We find nothing wrong with this man. Maybe an angel or a spirit really did speak to him.” 10 The argument turned into a fight, and the commander was afraid that the Jews would tear Paul to pieces. So he told the soldiers to go down and take Paul away from these Jews and put him in the army building.

Acts 23:6 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES All that Paul said, therefore, was strictly true. It was because he advocated this doctrine that he was opposed. That there were other causes of opposition to him might be true also; but still this was the main and prominent cause of the hostility.

 

Thursday – Transfer to Caesarea

Acts 23:12-17 Common English Bible 12 The next morning some Jewish leaders formulated a plot and solemnly promised that they wouldn’t eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty people were involved in the conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have solemnly promised to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 You and the council must explain to the commander that you need Paul brought down to you. Pretend that you want to examine his case more closely. We’re prepared to kill him before he arrives.” 16 Paul’s sister had a son who heard about the ambush and he came to the military headquarters and reported it to Paul. 17 Paul called for one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander because he has something to report to him.”

Acts 23:26-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 When this man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, I arrived with my troops and rescued him because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 Wanting to know the charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down before their Sanhedrin. 29 I found out that the accusations were about disputed matters in their law, and that there was no charge that merited death or chains. 30 When I was informed that there was a plot against the man, I sent him to you right away. I also ordered his accusers to state their case against him in your presence.

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, james423 said:

Acts 23:26-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 When this man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, I arrived with my troops and rescued him because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 Wanting to know the charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down before their Sanhedrin. 29 I found out that the accusations were about disputed matters in their law, and that there was no charge that merited death or chains. 30 When I was informed that there was a plot against the man, I sent him to you right away. I also ordered his accusers to state their case against him in your presence.

wow, and we think today that evangelism is tough going?? I dont know how Paul managed to be so strong with all this kind of thing that was going on!

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james423

He had one goal in life at that point - to let as many people as possible know about Christ. He was getting old enough that earthly things made no difference to him (being in prison bothered him, for example, because he had to sit in confinement and not be out preaching).

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phkrause
20 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

wow, and we think today that evangelism is tough going?? I dont know how Paul managed to be so strong with all this kind of thing that was going on!

Exactly!! Today we have to actually worry more about those in the church harassing us than those outside the church!!

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