Connection from the previous portion
As the conflict grew more violent, the commander was afraid they would tear Paul apart. So he ordered his soldiers to go and rescue him by force and take him back to the fortress. That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”Acts 23:10-11
The Plot to Kill Paul
The next morning a group of Jews got together and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty of them in the conspiracy. They went to the leading priests and elders and told them, “We have bound ourselves with an oath to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. So you and the high council should ask the commander to bring Paul back to the council again. Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.”
But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. Paul called for one of the Roman officers and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him.”
So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?” Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information. But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”
“Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man.Acts 23:12-22
This is the next focus of our attention. Take your time to read it through carefully a number of times and see what stands out to you. Remember Luke is selecting from the huge body of material he could write about to give us what he wants to highlight. The parts that stand out to you are likely to either be the things Luke wants to highlight or the elements that are relevant to you. Both of which need some time and effort to think about.
It will be clear to you that we are moving on in the story. There have been other questions or comments that have been sent to me but I am moving on. Why? Because it’s clear the story is moving on. Paul’s future has been revealed in Jesus’ word to his heart. How did Luke know that? Paul told him. Remember Luke is his travelling companion. Now the story has reached a turning point.
- Paul is now removed from Jerusalem and moved to Caesarea. Why Caesarea?
- Why not take him straight to Jerusalem now?
Paul is now out of Jewish hands and firmly in the hands of the Roman occupying forces. Why? Because he has appealed to his Roman citizenship. We are at the turning point of a grand plan.
Take time to ponder it and ask yourself the questions that are relevant to the features you notice. Share them with me if you wish.
No matter what you are facing or what you are going through, Jesus is extending his hand to help you up and get you back on your feet. Rise and Walk on with Him!Ian Vail
When you reach a stage in your journey that is puzzling or threatening, take a moment to ask God for His perspective on what is happening.Ian Vail
Emotions held for long periods can cause life to buckle and give way.Deron Spoo
Broken dreams are not dead they just need some rebuilding and belief!Rick Godwin