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Paul Outsmarts the Sanhedrin (21 of 26)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles
TEXT: Acts 23:1-35
INTRODUCTION: Earlier, in chapter 21, you will remember that that the Jews were so hostile toward Paul, they were about to kill him, necessitating his rescue by the Roman guard. In Acts 21:30-31a, it says, "And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.  And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar."
Paul, now under Roman protection, is given an opportunity to speak to his people. Chapter 22 begins his defense. He talks about his Jewish background, his salvation experience and his experience on the Damascus road. Up to this point, he has their attention, until he says something that sets them off. He tells them how God had sent him to be a witness to the Gentiles. In Acts 22:22-23, it says, "And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.  And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air."
The chief captain commanded that Paul be brought into the castle and examined by scourging. He wanted to know why the Jews were so upset with him. What had he done to cause such an uproar? However, upon finding that Paul was a Roman citizen and protected under Roman law, they were fearful of scourging him before giving him a trial, so they turned him over to the Jewish Sanhedrin, a council comprised of Pharisees and Sadducees. Paul would find no friends in either group. His life was on the line--he had to think quick...and he did.
Let me give you three things:
I. Paul Faces the Sanhedrin
II. Paul Faces the Mob
III. Paul Faces the Governor
I. PAUL FACES THE SANHEDRIN (VV. 1-10)
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