1 保羅定睛看著公會的人，說：「弟兄們，我在 神面前行事為人都是憑著良心，直到今日。」2 大祭司亞拿尼亞就吩咐旁邊站著的人打他的嘴。3 保羅對他說：「你這粉飾的牆， 神要打你！你坐堂為的是按律法審問我，你竟違背律法，吩咐人打我嗎？」 4 站在旁邊的人說：「你辱罵 神的大祭司嗎？」 5 保羅說：「弟兄們，我不曉得他是大祭司。經上記著說：『不可毀謗你百姓的官長。』」 6 保羅看出大眾一半是撒都該人，一半是法利賽人，就在公會中大聲說：「弟兄們，我是法利賽人，也是法利賽人的子孫。我現在受審問，是為盼望死人復活。」 7 說了這話，法利賽人和撒都該人就爭論起來，會眾分為兩黨。8 因為撒都該人說沒有復活，也沒有天使和鬼魂；法利賽人卻說兩樣都有， 9 於是大大地喧嚷起來。有幾個法利賽黨的文士站起來爭辯說：「我們看不出這人有甚麼惡處，倘若有鬼魂或是天使對他說過話，怎麼樣呢？」 10 那時大起爭吵，千夫長恐怕保羅被他們扯碎了，就吩咐兵丁下去，把他從眾人當中搶出來，帶進營樓去。11 當夜，主站在保羅旁邊說：「放心吧！你怎樣在耶路撒冷為我作見證，也必怎樣在羅馬為我作見證。」
1Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” 2At this, the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” 4Those who were standing near Paul said, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?” 5Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'” 6Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” 7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 9There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
- Why would the high priest react so violently to Paul’s statement in v1 (see 21:21, 28)? Why and how does Paul show his respect for the Jewish Law (vv1-5)?
- Paul then changed the focus of attention from whether he has kept the law to his hope in the resurrection. Given the tension on this issue between the Pharisees and Sadducees, what must the next few minutes of the assembly have been like? What effect does the split have on Paul’s cases (vv7-10)?
- The last time God spoke to Paul was in 18:9-10, after he had experienced a series of setbacks. How would the Lord’s message here (v11) help Paul again? How might this help Paul remember what the Lord said about him to Ananias in 9:15-16?
- Describe a time when I felt the Lord especially near to me. What circumstances caused this sense of the Lord’s presence? What were the impacts on me?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Paul knows that Jesus’ resurrection gave his life meaning and hope. Sing “Because He Lives”. Talk about the lyrics of this song. Write the lyrics in your Family Devotional Journal. Thank God for the hope Jesus’ resurrection gives you each day.