Sunday, June 28, 2009

Acts 22 -- Paul's Trial Part 1

Against all human cautions, Paul made his way to Jerusalem and just as foreseen, he is taken into custody. Interestingly, the Roman custody is for the protection of Paul from the religious leaders. Each step of the way the Roman, or worldly, leadership can find no wrong with Paul, yet they keep him under guard for his own protection.

Every time Paul is asked by the religious leaders to answer for his actions the results is violence. In chapter 22 Paul begins to lay out his case that he is just like them in many ways. Until that moment on the road to Damascus. On that road the Pharisee Paul was confronted by Jesus himself. As you might guess this had a profound impact on Paul and changed the course of his life. Paul provokes the religious leaders by stating that he is called to preach the Good News to the Gentiles.

As the violence breaks, Paul is taken and about to be beaten, then he plays the Roman citizen card and everything changes. Paul is not beaten and is put under protection while the trial continues. The religious leaders however were even more on the attack.

While Paul was using his earthly citizenship as a means of protection, and to cover travel expense to Rome, the religious leaders were trying to mesh the earthly kingdom way of doing things into their own. The problem is the Kingdom of God does not work like the kingdoms of the earth. The people of God are called to function differently from the kingdom of earth. Paul walks a fine line, the religious leaders trample the line.

Are we using the ways of this world to accomplish the works of God's kingdom?

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