High Priest – Ruler of the People
Jesus Christ has made us all kings and priests to God, but Christ is our high priest.
Before, Paul had hurt (revile) the High Priest with his words. Do you recall what he said about good conscience?
As a result, the other members of The Council reacted.
“And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?” (Acts 23:4).
Then, Paul explained his behavior relating to the high priest to the people.
“Then said Paul, I [wish] not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people” (Acts 23:5).
Above, Apostle Paul was quoting the following Scripture:
“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people” (Exodus 22:28).
Then, as an effective communicator should, he understood his audience. He perceived that it was mixed.
Therefore, he, as a Pharisee, made a pathetic appeal to the other Pharisees in the audience.
The Hope and Resurrection of the Dead of the Believer
“But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question” (Acts 23:6).
As a result, immediately his intuition and proclamation yielded fruit.
“And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided” (Acts 23:7).
High Priest Sympathetic to Paul
“For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both” (Acts 23:8).
As it was in the days of Apostle Paul, so it is today. Today, many “Christians” don’t agree on all the doctrines of the Holy Bible.
For example, some believe that salvation is a gift from God that you just accept, that is to believe, and you’re instantly and eternally saved.
On the other hand, many more believe that attending church on Saturdays saves their souls.
And still, there is one segment of “Christians” that doesn’t believe that we possess “souls”, but instead we are souls.
We indeed are souls (living or dead), and we all have souls.
Who is Correct?
Which one is correct? For they can’t all be correct, could they?
“And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God” (Acts 23:9).
Just as Apostle Paul had anticipated his outburst divided the gathering. And the argument that the Pharisees proposed further created a rift amongst them.
This right here, demonstrates that Apostle Paul was a masterful orator.
Apostle Paul – From Jerusalem to Rome
He appealed to the emotions of his audience and it changed the focus of the gathering.
For, “there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle” (Acts 23:10).
In my mind’s eye, I see Apostle Paul being pulled to the right by the Sadducees and pulled to the left by the Pharisees.
Consequently, the Chief Captain had to get him out of there before a fight broke out between the two sides for possession of him.
“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11).
The verse of Scripture immediately above invokes and initiates a spring of reassurance and confidence that Believers in Jesus Christ own.
The Working of the Vision
And I think this vision that Apostle Paul had made him more confident and bolder than ever before.
Because the Lord told him that he “must” “bear witness” of Him “also at Rome” he was filled with confidence and strength.
Now, he knows that nothing in this whole wide world could prevent him from going to Rome.
He knew the will of God. It was for him to testify of Him there. So, who could prevent him from going to Rome? Nobody!
“And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul” (Acts 23:12).
In closing, a quick question. What was the purpose of this “curse”? The quick answer, it expedites the will of God.
“And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy” (Acts 23:13).