Acts 22:1-30 (web)

Paul's Testimony

22:1 "Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you." 
22:2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language,
they were even more quiet. He said, 
22:3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, 
but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, 
instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers,
being zealous for God, even as you all are this day. 
22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, 
binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 
22:5 As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify,
from whom also I received letters to the brothers,
and traveled to Damascus to bring them also 
who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished. 
22:6 It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus,
about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me. 
22:7 I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me,
'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 
22:8 I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' 
He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.' 
22:9 "Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, 
but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me. 
22:10 I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' 
The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. 
There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.' 
22:11 When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, 
being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 
22:12 One Ananias, a devout man according to the law,
well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus, 
22:13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, 
'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him. 
22:14 He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will,
and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. 
22:15 For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 
22:16 Now why do you wait? 
Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' 
22:17 "It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem,
and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, 
22:18 and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, 
because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.' 
22:19 I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned 
and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. 
22:20 When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, 
and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.' 
22:21 "He said to me, 
'Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.'

Paul's Defense before the Centurion

22:22 They listened to him until he said that;
then they lifted up their voice, and said, 
"Rid the earth of this fellow, for he isn't fit to live!" 
22:23 As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air, 
22:24 the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks,
ordering him to be examined by scourging,
that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that. 
22:25 When they had tied him up with thongs, 
Paul asked the centurion who stood by,
"Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?" 
22:26 When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, "Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!" 
22:27 The commanding officer came and asked him, 
"Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes." 
22:28 The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." 
Paul said, "But I was born a Roman." 
22:29 Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him,
and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman,
because he had bound him. 
22:30 But on the next day,
desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, 
he freed him from the bonds, 
and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, 
and brought Paul down and set him before them. 
 

Comments

vs 1-21 In his testimony Paul, speaking in Hebrews, attempted to basically say, "I was not much different than you. In fact . I was more zealous for the Law than you are now. I was brought up by the best Jewish teacher. I also persecuted Christians. But I devoted myself to it and did it in an official capacity." In this way he tried to get them to listen. For people are more likely to listen to their own kind. And he did likewise even concerning his conversion, mentioned Ananias as a devout Jew highly repected in the Jewish community.

Paul's Credentials:

  • a Jew, born in Tarsus
  • Taught by Gamaliel (A famous Jew, an expert in the Law of Moses highly respected by the Jews)
  • Thoroughly trained in the law
  • Zealous for God
  • Persecuted the followers of this Way to their death in an official capacity
    • as also the high priest and all the Council can testify

Paul's Conversion:

  • Confronted by the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus and blinded by the light
  • Instructed to wait in Damascus for further instructions which were then brought by Ananias, a Christian but also a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.
  • His sight was restored and he was instructed he would have a prophet ministry bringing God's Word to all men.
  • He was then baptized as a Christian for the forgiveness of sins and called upon the Lord Jesus.
  • The Lord instructed him to leave Jerusalem, for the Jews would not accept the message, and the Lord sent him away to the Gentiles.
The Jews were willing to listen until he came to the point where the Lord sent him to the Gentiles. For that was the point they were objecting to. Jews held Gentiles in contempt. The gospel was too humilating for the Jews.

vs 22,23 The penalty for being a false prophet was death according to the Law of Moses. The tearing of their own clothes and throwing dust in the air was a way of accusing others of blasphemy just as the high priest tore his own clothes at Jesus' trial.

vs 24-30 Now Paul started to play his trump card by revealing his Roman citizenship. For Paul came to Jerusalem not so much to witness to the Jews, although that was also in the cards, but rather he came to get arrested and sent to Rome to give witness to the Emperor. For his primary mission was to the Gentiles.
 




The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015