When reading this chapter, there were 3 parts that especially stood out:
And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” (1)
What does it look like to live your life in good conscience? What if you could say the same thing when someone accuses you of something. While this doesn’t mean we must be perfect, it does mean that we are able, by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, to live lives that rightly represent the gospel, in such a way that stands out to those who are looking on.
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.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (6-7)
Paul wisely divides the council using this simple declaration. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, while the Sadducees did not. By saying this he got the Pharisees on his side, and more importantly divided the council. To me, this shows the power of division and the importance of unity. Is your family united? Are you promoting unity within the life of the church?
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.” (11)
Here we see that Jesus has a purpose for the suffering of Paul. His journey to Rome is not going to be an easy one (as we will see in the next few days). But Paul is going through these so that he might be able to declare the gospel to more people in higher positions of power. How do you view your own suffering? What good might God be bringing about through your suffering?
What parts of our passage stood out to you?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice