Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 22:5-29
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 22:5
v5: He encouraged them to talk to Caiaphas, the former high priest, or any of the elders who had been part of the Sanhedrin at the time because they would be able to confirm that what he was saying was true. He said those men even wrote letters of introduction on his behalf to the synagogue leaders in Damascus (Ac 9:1, 2) asking them to allow him to arrest any Jews who were following Jesus and transport them back to Jerusalem, where they would receive the “vengeance” they were due.

Monday: Acts 22:6-10
vs6-10: Then he told them how he met Jesus. He said as he was drawing near the city of Damascus, about noon, a light came out of heaven and shone around him, and when he fell to the ground he heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you pursuing (hunting) Me?” And he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” and the One speaking to him replied, “I am Jesus, the Nazarene, whom you are pursuing.” He said those traveling with him saw the heavenly light, but didn’t understand what was said. Then he asked Jesus, “What will I do, Lord?” and Jesus had told him to go into Damascus and there he would be told the plans God had for him.

Tuesday: Acts 22:11-16
vs11-16: Paul told the crowd that the brilliant light left him blind so that those who were traveling with him had to lead him by the hand into the city. In Damascus a man named Ananias, a Jew who was very careful in his obedience to the Law of Moses and highly respected by all the other Jews in the city, had stood at Paul’s bedside and said to him, “The God of our fathers has handpicked you beforehand to know His will, and to see the Holy One and hear an utterance from His mouth because you will be His witness to all men of the things which you have seen and heard.” Then Ananias said, “Now here’s what you’re going to do: you’ll rise up from this bed and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling upon God, in Jesus’ name, to forgive you” (paraphrased).

Wednesday: Acts 22:17-21
vs17-21: Paul said he then left Damascus and returned to Jerusalem. There, while praying in the temple, he was suddenly overwhelmed by God’s presence, and saw Jesus and heard Him say, “Hurry, get out of Jerusalem quickly because they will not receive your testimony about Me.” Paul admitted that he argued with the Lord, reminding Him that everyone in the city knew he had gone from synagogue to synagogue beating and imprisoning those who believed on Jesus, and that he had even overseen the stoning of Stephen. But Jesus hadn’t changed His mind. He told Paul, “Go, I will send you to the distant nations (Gentiles).”

Thursday: Acts 22:22-24
vs22-23: Luke says the crowd listened to Paul up to “this word,” meaning the final statement about his mission to the Gentiles and then their fury erupted again. They called for his death, saying a person like him shouldn’t be allowed to live. They shouted and waived their robes and threw dust in the air since no stones were available on the smooth pavement of the courtyard. v24: It’s very likely the commander couldn’t fully understand what Paul was saying in Aramaic, even though it was probably being translated to him, so when the crowd again exploded in fury, he assumed Paul must have lied to him, and decided to take him into the fort and torture the truth out of him.

Friday: Acts 22:24-25
v24 (continued): Now, even the commander was angry at Paul, so he ordered him to be scourged. Many terrible things had been done to Paul over the years, but never this (2Co 11:23-25). If he survived, it would leave him crippled. This was what Pilate did to Jesus in that very same fort, and then had paraded Him in front of the crowd, declaring, “Behold, the man!” (Jn 19:5). In fact, scourging was so brutal it was against Roman law to scourge a Roman citizen, no matter what they had done. v25: The soldiers dragged Paul into the fort, tied leather straps around his wrists, and probably ankles, and then began to pull him over or around a post in order to expose his back to the whip. As this was taking place, in that very moment as he was being “stretched forward,” Paul spoke to the centurion who was standing nearby. He asked, “If a man is a Roman and uncondemned, is it lawful for you to scourge him?” By asking this, Paul was claiming legal protection as a Roman citizen. Apparently being a citizen of Tarsus (Ac 21:39) was not necessarily the same as being a Roman citizen.

Saturday: Acts 22:26-29
vs26: The soldiers stopped instantly. To violate a Roman citizen was a very serious matter and could subject them to severe punishment (Ac 16:35-39). And it was very unlikely that anyone would make that claim falsely, because when their lie was discovered, that person would be executed immediately and horribly (J. Rawson Lumby, Acts, Cambridge Greek Testament. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1904. p.392). The centurion went straight to the commander and asked him, with alarm, why he had ordered him to do such a thing because, “…this man is a Roman.” vs27-28: The commander approached Paul and said, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” and Paul answered, “Yes.” The commander was surprised, and possibly unconvinced. After being beaten by a mob, Paul must have looked ragged and bloodied, not like someone from a prestigious social background. He challenged Paul’s claim by saying, “I acquired this citizenship by paying a great sum of money,” to which Paul replied, “But I, indeed, was born one.” That meant that his parents were Roman citizens, which probably meant they, or some earlier ancestor, had done something notable on behalf of Rome and had been honored with citizenship. At least, the family was wealthy enough to purchase the right of citizenship and pass it on to their children. What the commander suddenly realized was that Paul had a powerful family behind him that could demand an investigation. v29: Paul’s statement hit like a bomb. Immediately, the soldiers back away from him. They had already gone too far. Even the commander was afraid, because he had given the order to scourge him. If Paul pressed charges, there could be trouble. 

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