While assembling their new water bed, my sister Betty and her husband, Everett, realized they would need a hose. Everett dashed to the hardware store and bought one. They attached it to the bed, ran it through the apartment to the kitchen tap and left to wait for the bed to fill. … More
Paul had been assaulted by the mob, threatened with scourging by the Romans, and bullied by the high priest. It was evident to him there was no chance that he would receive a fair trial in a court headed by such a man as Ananias. If he said, “I am a Christian,” and made his defense along that line, he could expect to be shouted down. It seems that in desperation he acted politically, rather than spiritually, which later he may have regretted (24:21). He knew that the council was made up of both Pharisees and Sadducees. Since the Sadducees denied the resurrection and the Pharisees believed in it, he identified himself as a Pharisee, and immediately the two parties began to squabble (v. 6).
There is no strife so bitter as party politics fueled by religious animosity.Paul had stated that his position on the Resurrection was in agreement with the Pharisees, but not the Sadducees (vv. 7-8). This clever tactic divided the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees took Paul’s part and demanded his acquittal (v. 9). In a moment the two parties were at each other’s throats, and Paul could stand back and see the result of his words.
We see Paul was in more danger in the midst of the Jews than he was in a Roman prison, and the captain had to rescue Paul by force or he would have been killed (v. 10). It would be very natural for Paul to become depressed, fearful, and discouraged by all this. Perhaps he was wondering what good had been done by his coming to Jerusalem. The next night the Lord Himself drew near to Paul to comfort and encourage him, and also to assure him that he would go to Rome (v. 11). Whoever is against us, we need not fear, if the Lord stand by us. It is the will of Christ, that his servants who are faithful, should be always cheerful.
I have had some trials and discouragement in this life but nothing compared to what Paul went through. Lord, help me to always have a good attitude when trials come my way.
Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial." And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, "We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?" And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome."
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Acts 20:1-6Discipleship Despite Difficulties
Acts 20:7-12When, Where, How & How Long to Worship
Acts 20:13-21Paul–An Example of Faithfulness
Acts 20:22-24Paul’s Determination To Go To Jerusalem
Acts 20:25-31Paul’s Warning to the Ephesian Elders
Acts 20:32-38Paul Shares About Giving
Acts 21:1-9Paul Warned By the Christians
Acts 21:10-16Paul’s Determination & Warning from Agabus
Acts 21:17-26Compromise Recommended but Refuted
Acts 21:27-36Disaster is the End Result of Compromise
Acts 21:37-40Boldness At the Barracks
Acts 22:1-5Paul Defense of His Heritage and Ministry
Acts 22:6-16Paul’s Salvation Testimony
Acts 22:17-21The Jewish Crowd’s Prejudice Against Gentiles
Acts 22:22-30Paul–A Roman Citizen
Acts 23:1-5Respect is Always Appropriate
Acts 23:6-11Comfort In Times of Trial
Acts 23:12-22A Plot to Kill Paul
Acts 23:23-35God’s Timing is Very Evident to Paul
Acts 24:1-9Paul’s Response vs. Reaction to Charges
Acts 24:10-21Paul’s Defense Before Felix
Acts 24:22-27Concern from Paul’s Friends & Foes
Acts 25:1-7Paul’s Roman Trial–Festus Hears False Accusations
Acts 25:8-12Paul’s Appeal to Caesar’s Roman Courtroom
Acts 25:13-22Festus Consults Agrippa for a Second Opinion
Acts 25:23-27Paul’s Opportunity to Face Agrippa & Company
Acts 26:1-11Paul to Agrippa–Honesty is the Best Policy
Acts 26:12-23Paul’s Purpose Changed to God’s Purpose
Acts 26:24-32God’s Truth Brings Conviction to Agippa’s Heart