July 21

Acts 22

Acts 22:1-30-Paul speaks to the Jews.  He begins by establishing his Jewish heritage, his Roman citizenship, his educational qualifications, his religious faithfulness, and his devout zeal.  These facts should all help him to develop credibility with the crowd.  He then tells them that he even went a step further…by persecuting those who strayed from the truth.  He did this with the full knowledge, participation, and even endorsement of the Jewish leaders.  Next, he relates the incident that took place on his way to Damascus to hunt down some of these reprobates.  His story must have been captivating as he related that, “a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven”,  that under it’s intensity he fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice speak to him.  At that point, the crowd must have leaned forward in anticipation of what the voice said.  “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?...I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.”  His traveling companions saw the light and heard the voice…but did not understand what the voice said.

 

Hear, Hearing:

the usual word denoting "to hear," is used

(a) intransitively, e.g., Mat 11:15; Mark 4:23;

(b) transitively when the object is expressed, sometimes in the accusative case, sometimes in the genitive. Thus in Act 9:7, "hearing the voice," the noun "voice" is in the partitive genitive case [i.e., hearing (something) of], whereas in Act 22:9, "they heard not the voice," the construction is with the accusative. This removes the idea of any contradiction. The former indicates a "hearing" of the sound, the latter indicates the meaning or message of the voice (this they did not hear). "The former denotes the sensational perception, the latter (the accusative case) the thing perceived" (Cremer). In Jhn 5:25, 28, the genitive case is used, indicating a "sensational perception" that the Lord's voice is sounding; in Jhn 3:8, of "hearing" the wind, the accusative is used, stressing "the thing perceived."

(http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G191&t=NASB, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

 

Paul then asked the Lord what he was to do and was told to go to Damascus and there he would find out.  The light had been so bright that he had become blind and had to be led to Damascus.  There, he met a man named Ananias, who was considered to be a devout Jew by those that knew him.  He told Paul to receive his sight back…and immediately he could see.  This miraculous act gave credibility to the authority with which he was about to speak.  He then told Paul that God had determined that he should know His will, to see the “Righteous One” (Jesus), and to hear His voice.  The reason for this is that God had also determined that Paul was going to be His witness of these very things to all men.  He then told him to go and be baptized in the name of Jesus.  This was a sign of the conversion of his life…from persecuting the followers of Jesus, to proclaiming the message of Jesus.  Paul tells them that he then returned to Jerusalem and had come to the temple to pray.  While praying, Jesus appeared to him and told him to leave quickly because his testimony (same word as “witness”) would not be accepted by the Jewish leaders.  Paul argued with the Lord, telling him that surely the Jewish leaders would respect him because of what he had done before, with their encouragement.  He had even supported the stoning of Stephen.  The Jews had listened patiently up until this point.  But now, Paul tells them that Jesus then said, “Go!  For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”  To the Jewish leaders this sounded like an affirmation of what they had been told about Paul…that he had betrayed the Jewish faith and was associating with those of pagan religions.  In fact, he had even brought Gentiles into the temple, probably in hopes of establishing their practices there.  They were blinded by their own agenda and failed to see that the real intent was for the message of the Messiah to be taken to the Gentiles.  Suddenly, the riot began again...and the soldiers quickly took Paul to the barracks.  They were going to scourge him for instigating trouble and determine what he had done.  But then, Paul told them that he was a Roman citizen by birth and they immediately stopped (Roman law prohibited such action without a trial).  The commander was now concerned that in the process he had broken the law, himself.  The next day he called for the Jews to come and present their case against Paul.

Prayer: Lord, Please help me to have boldness to tell others about You, no matter what the consequences may be.

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