Acts 23 – Paul’s Sermon in Jerusalem

Once again, Paul is being persecuted – this time in  he is in Jerusalem.

“Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” He spoke to them in Hebrew and the crow became silent.  The word defense in Greek is the word apologia, which we get the word apology.  He was trying to give a formal defense of his past life and actions.

Paul spoke as a Jew unto Jews. He was careful to lay the common ground between them. With this, Paul began telling the story of his life before Jesus Christ and then his conversion.  Paul noted that though he was born outside of the Promised Land, he was brought up in Jerusalem, and at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the most prestigious rabbis of the day (Acts 5:34).  Paul goes on to say how he persecuted the Christians.  He stated how he was zealous for the Lord and how he was persecuted them with the approval of Elders and High Priest.

On the road to Damascus, Paul related how he was struck down from his horse and blinded by a bright light. He heard a voice ask why Paul (then called Saul) was persecuting Him, Jesus Christ. Paul asked what He wanted from him. He was instructed to go to Damascus where he will learn what service will be required of him.

Once he reached Damascus, he met with a man named Ananias who performed a miracle to restore Paul’s sight. At this point, he changed his name from Saul to Paul and vowed to preach the word of God.

While in Jerusalem, Paul was placed in chains by the Roman guards. He was tormented by the raucous crowd and the Roman guards were ordered to flog him. Paul informed the Roman commander that he is a Roman citizen. The commander noted that he paid money to be a citizen and wondered how Paul could afford such a cost. Paul explained that he was born a Roman citizen. At this point, the commander became very nervous because he had placed a Roman citizen in chains and punished him before he was tried.



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