Acts 23:12-22 – March 18, 2007

March 12, 2007 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

A MURDER PLOT IS UNCOVERED – PART 1 (verses 12-22)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Why would the Jews make the type of oath in verse 12?

Discussion) This is an oath made out of pure hatred. These were not specifically any of the Sanhedrin but they were ordinary Jews who were zealous for the law and hated Paul for sharing about Jesus Christ to the people at Jerusalem. This was a very serious vow since they would not eat nor drink until Paul was dead.

Q2) In verses 14 and 15, why did this group of 7 men go to the Sanhedrin (chief priests and elders) and tell them of their plans?

Clues) This was the trick question. There were 40 men who went to the Sanhedrin.

Discussion) These 40 men wanted not only a blessing from the Sanhedrin, but also to have the Sanhedrin help them out. They knew that the Sanhedrin knew all about the inner workings of the Roman court system and how the layout was. Consequently they wanted inside help from the Sanhedrin.

As a rabbit trail, we remember when Jesus said that the Pharisees regularly fasted several times a week, but they did it for show. Imagine how this must have made the different parts of the Sanhedrin felt that 40 men were going to outdo them in fasting.

Q3) We see the Jews plans for Paul, but God had other plans for him – his death was not yet to be – whom did the Holy Spirit use to foil this attempt at Paul’s life?

Discussion) The Holy Spirit used Paul’s nephew to foil this attempt. We have no way of knowing how old the nephew was or how he had heard about the murder attempt. What we do know is that he was faithful to his uncle and showed a great concern and love by letting his uncle know what was going to happen.  No where else in Acts do we see any mention of any relatives of Paul.

Q4) Why do you suppose the chief captain took him by the hand in verse 19?

Discussion) The chief captain on down knew that they had messed up with Paul, so each one of them showed particular consideration to Paul. We might say in today’s language that they were covering themselves so that they would not have to answer with their lives. I would rather say that the favor of God was being shown to Paul and his family through the Roman soldiers. What Satan meant for evil, God was turning it for good.

The reason that the captain took the nephew by the hand is that the captain was showing empathy towards the nephew and then also showing him that he was giving the nephew his undivided attention. I am sure that the nephew had emotions of fear and awe running through him talking to a high level office so this simple gesture was one of comfort and undivided attention.

Q5) In verse 22, why do you suppose the chief captain allowed the young boy to leave and didn’t throw him in jail with Paul?

Discussion) The nephew was a messenger. The chief captain could have easily thrown him into prison, but he also realized that this nephew must be a born Roman citizen like Paul was. Remember that when the captain heard about this plot that Jew were planning to do and that they were going to use this captain as a pawn, there must have arose an anger to the point of hatred inside of the captain.

LIFE APPLICATION: What fruit of the Spirit is Paul displaying here? (The fruit of the Spirit is explained in Galatians 5:22)

Discussion) We can see that almost all of the fruit of the Spirit is being displayed by Paul here. One thing that we discussed is that if Paul demanded that his rights be met and that he should not be treated this way, the captain more than likely would never have heard from Paul’s nephew and this murder plot would have never been foiled. We need to remember to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that the Lord will have room to operate. If we don’t then there are times that we are binding the hands of the Lord so that He is not able to operate His plan.

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 22:30-23:11 – March 11, 2007 Acts 23:23-35 – March 25, 2007

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