ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 113



22:24–23:10
L UK E – A cts
101
The commander brought Paul inside and ordered him lashed with whips
to make him confess his crime. He wanted to find out why the crowd had
become so furious. When they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to
the officer standing there, “Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who
hasn’t even been tried?”
When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked,
“What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!”
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!”
The soldiers who were about to interrogate Paul quickly withdrew when
they heard he was a Roman citizen, and the commander was frightened
because he had ordered him bound and whipped.
The next day the commander ordered the leading priests into session with
the Jewish high council. He wanted to find out what the trouble was all
about, so he released Paul to have him stand before them.
Gazing intently at the high council, Paul began: “Brothers, I have always
lived before God with a clear conscience!”
Instantly Ananias the high priest commanded those close to Paul to slap
him on the mouth. But Paul said to him, “God will slap you, you corrupt
hypocrite! What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?”
Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high
priest?”
“I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realize he was the high priest,” Paul replied,
“for the Scriptures say, ‘You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.’”
Paul realized that some members of the high council were Sadducees
and some were Pharisees, so he shouted, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as
were my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!”
This divided the council—the Pharisees against the Sadducees—for
the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits, but the
Pharisees believe in all of these. So there was a great uproar. Some of
the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees jumped up and began
to argue forcefully. “We see nothing wrong with him,” they shouted.
“­Perhaps a spirit or an angel spoke to him.” 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.





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