Acts 23:23-35 – March 25, 2007

March 18, 2007 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

A MURDER PLOT IS UNCOVERED – PART 2 (verses 23-35)

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 do you think there were so many soldiers around Paul in verses 23 and 24?

Discussion)    The chief commander wanted to foil as many plot attempts on Paul’s life as possible.  Remember that the chief commander was responsible for the life of Paul until Paul was delivered to the governor of that province.

We also talked about the fact that there were 470 soldiers, horsemen, and spearmen that went to Antipartris to escort Paul.  That was way more than enough but the chief captain wanted security for Paul.  Remember that verse 24 states that Paul was given mounts (horses) to ride upon.  Even though this city was only 25 miles away, Paul had the attention of a majority of the Roman army during these hours, which I am very sure that he used it to tell them of Jesus Christ and what His death on the cross meant.

Q2) Felix was the Governor of Caesarea as we read in verse 24. What do we know about him and what is his responsibility?

Discussion)    This was one of those questions that you had to do some research.  We see that Felix ruled with impunity by trying to collect bribes, being heavy-handed, a procrastinator, and given to reveling in cruelty and lust.  It has been said of Felix that he exercised the powers of a king with the outlook of a slave.  We need to remember what Felix was like for chapter 24.

Q3) Why did Felix write a letter to Nero about Paul?

Clues)    This was the trick question.  Claudius Lysias wrote the letter to Felix about Paul.

Discussion)    There are two modes of thinking here about why.  The first mode of thinking was that Claudius was responsible for the Jerusalem area and was not permitted to travel so therefore he could not go with his soldiers.  The second mode of thinking was that he had made such a big mistake in what he did with Paul that he dare not present himself to Felix in case Paul accused him in front of his superior.

Whatever mode of thinking one thing that we can be sure of is that in order for Claudius to write this letter he had to have some type of formal education in the Roman educational system. 

Q4) Why was Paul taken by night to the city of Antipatris?

Discussion)    To thwart any plots against him to kill him.  One thing we talked about here is that the next day we can be assured that those who were plotting to kill Paul were extremely upset that they did not get to carry out their plan.  We need to remember this for chapter 24.

Q5) What did the officers give to Felix when they handed over Paul? Why?

Discussion)    This was not to be taken as a trick question though some did.  The letter and Paul were delivered over to Felix.  Notice the order, first the letter then Paul.  Felix wanted to know what he was dealing with before he would let the accused speak.  Similar to our court system today that judges look at the case files before the different parties are allowed to speak.  We also talked about verse 34 in which Felix wanted to know what province Paul was from.  Each governor could only rule on people from their province, so this was always the first question to be asked.  If the person was not form their province, they would be sent to the governor or king that ruled in that province; remember in the “trial” of Jesus that Pilate ordered Jesus to be taken to Herod since Jesus was from Nazareth and that was the province that Herod ruled.

Q6) Why did Felix the Governor have Paul put in Herod’s Judgment Hall instead of trying him immediately?

Discussion)    He was waiting for the accusers to get to Antipatris in order to hear from both Paul and his accusers at the same time and not at different dates.  Similar fashion in which we have the justice system set up in America.

LIFE APPLICATION: As we study Paul’s life, do you agree that his trust was in the chief commander and his soldiers for his safety? Should we in the United States trust in our weapons and military forces, our friends, our governors, or our President for our defense? Why?

Discussion)    Paul’s trust was in Jesus and Jesus alone.  No matter what happens our trust is not to be in man or the government’s of man but in Jesus Christ alone.

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 23:12-22 – March 18, 2007 Acts 24:1-13 – April 1, 2007

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