Acts 21:40-22:29 Paul addressed the Jews Roman Citizenship

Paul spoke to the Jews in the Hebrew language

40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,

 

Acts 22:1-29

 

1 "Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now." 2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:

 

Paul's history as a zealous Pharisee

3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.

 

Paul's vision on Road to Damascus

6 Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8 "So I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.' 9 "And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.

 

Paul's obedience and conversion

10 So I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.' 11 "And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 Then one, Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

 

In Jerusalem Paul saw a vision of Jesus Who sent him to the Gentiles

17 "Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.' 19 "So I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.' 21 "Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' "

 

Riled Mob wants Paul Dead

22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!" 23 Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.

 

Paul Bound Roman Citizenship

25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?" 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman." 27 Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes." 28 The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship." And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen." 29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. NKJV

 

Facts Revealed:

V    When the commander came with the army to rescue Paul from the mob, he ordered him bound with two chains. [Acts 21:31-33]

V    After being rescued by the Roman army, Paul asked the commander in Greek to allow him to speak to the crowd. [Acts 21:37]

   The commander was surprised that Paul could speak Greek since he thought Paul was a Egyptian who had previously led an insurrection. [Acts 21:37-38]

   After gaining permission from the commander to speak, Paul spoke to the crowd in the Hebrew language. [Acts 21:39-40]

   Apparently Paul was not at that time bound with the chains. [Acts 21:40, 22:25]

Paul's history as a zealous Pharisee

V    When Paul gives his testimony, he relates the points that are pertinent to his audience.

V    Paul began his address by declaring his history as a Jew born in a Roman city.

   Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, was born a Jew in Tarsus of Cilicia, a Roman citizen. [Acts 9:11, 21:39, 13:9, 22:3]

   Educated in Jerusalem at the feet of the most respected instructor of Judaism, Gamaliel. [Acts 5:34, 22:3]

   Taught in the strictest sect of the Jewish Law a Pharisee, his father also a Pharisee. [Acts 22:3, 23:6]

   Zealous for the Jewish view of God as much so as the mob he was addressing, to the point of persecuting the Church of the "Way" to the death, both men and women. [Acts 7:57-60, 8:1-3, 9:1-2, 22:4]

   Paul had worked with the authority of the High priest, who bears witness to the fact. [Acts 9:1-2, 13-14, 22:4-5]

   He was on his way to Damascus of Syria, a foreign city, with written letters of authority from the High Priest and all the council of Elders of Jerusalem to bring Jews who were believers in Jesus in chains to Jerusalem to be punished by death. [Acts 8:1, 9:1-2, 22:4-5, 19-20]

Paul's vision on Road to Damascus

V    Paul experienced a great light outshining the sun at noon time, and heard the voice of Jesus speaking to him.

   Paul saw the Great light and fell to the ground. [Acts 9:3-4, 22:6-7]

   The voice speaking in the Hebrew language, identified Himself as Jesus of Nazareth. [Acts 9:4-5, 22:8, 26:14-15]

   Paul was told he was persecuting the Lord Jesus. [Acts 9:4-5, 22:7-8]

   Those with him saw the light and were afraid but did not hear the voice. [Acts 22:9]

   Those with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but not seeing the person of Jesus. [Acts 9:7]

Paul's conversion and obedience

V    Paul asked what to do, Jesus gave instructions, Paul obeyed.

   Lord, what shall I do? [Acts 9:6, 22:10]

   Go to Damascus and you will be told what to do. [Acts 9:6, 22:10]

   Led blind to Damascus. [Acts 9:8-9, 22:11]

   Ananias, a man with a good reputation among the Jews, ministered to Saul (Paul). [Acts 9:10-17, 22:12-16]

   Paul (Saul) was chosen by God to know the will of God, to see Jesus, to hear His voice, and to be His witness to all men, Jews and Gentiles. [Acts 9:15-17, 22:14-15, 26:16-18]

   Paul (Saul) received his sight, obeyed and was baptized, calling on the Name of the Lord. [Acts 9:18, 22:16, 26:19]

In Jerusalem Paul saw a vision of Jesus Who sent him to the Gentiles

V    "Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance and saw Him (Jesus) saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.'

 

"So I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.' " [Acts 22:19-20]

 

Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' " [Acts 22:17-21, 26:15-18]

Riled Mob wants Paul Dead

V    And they listened to him until this word (Gentiles), and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!" Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air, the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. [Acts 22:22-24]

   Though the Jews knew that Paul had first held their present opinion and had been changed by direct confrontation by the risen Jesus, they could not accept his testimony. [Acts 22:21-22]

   The Roman commander wanted to get to the bottom of the disturbance among the Jews and gave orders that Paul be scourged to learn the truth.

Paul Bound with Thongs Roman Citizenship

V    And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"

 

When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman."

 

Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."

 

The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship."

 

And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."

 

Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. [Acts 22:25-29]

   Roman citizenship held an important place in the ministry of Paul. All the places where he ministered were within the Roman Empire. Roman citizenship was highly valued especially by those serving in the military, and those doing business within the Empire.

   The military personnel were especially cautious when they learned that Paul held natural citizenship.