Acts 22:30-23:11

The commanding officer starts an investigation. The high priest orders Paul to be hit, and Paul responds with a cutting remark. When told he just spoke about high priest he apologizes. Was he truly contrite, or was it sarcasm? Was he apologizing, or saying, “I didn’t think the high priest would do something like that!” Only God and Paul know, and you can make an argument either way.

Paul once again uses the environment to his advantage. He pits the Sadducees and the Pharisees against each other by saying that he is being judged because of his belief in the resurrection. Ever at odds, they turn on each other, since the Pharisees believe in a resurrection and the Sadducees do not. The commanding officer fears for Paul’s life, so he brings him into the barracks. The next night God gives Paul confirmation that this is not the end. He is going to end up in Rome for the explicit purpose of sharing his faith!

The religious conflict is sad, because it reminds us of the religious conflicts that have happened and continue to happen. We are a far cry from Jesus’ prayer:

John 17:11 “I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.

Was he simply talking about the disciples? That would make the most sense, considering what we have since that time. However, we can long for that unity and look for that unity, recognizing that one day it will be a reality!

1 John 3:2 “Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

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