Vs 1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”
Vs 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
Vs 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”
Vs 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”
Vs 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
Vs 11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
Paul is brought before the religious leaders for a heresy trial.
Paul strongly defends himself and his actions.
When Paul is threatened to be struck, Paul then sharply rebukes and disparages the high priest.
Upon hearing that is was the high priest, Paul is apologetic for his manner and speaking and acknowledges God’s law.
Later, when alone, the Lord then reaffirms to Paul that he will need courage to continue his ongoing testimony.
One thing Paul does not lack is boldness.
He will say anything he needs to, to anyone he wants to.
This is not a new trait for, though. He was doing that before his encounter with Jesus.
So much so, that he was having people charged and killed.
Paul now finds himself on the other side of charges.
He still needs that boldness to defend himself, but this bold defense would only be trustworthy under one circumstance:
He “lived my life before God in all good conscience”.
So then, this begs the question of me and my desire to have a bold defense and testimony when asked:
Do I live my life before God in all good conscience?!
Certainly anyone asking or accusing will be comparing my words and deeds.
Do they correlate? Will my testimony make sense to a questioner when compared to my actions?
In other words, does my said testimony match my lived biography?
Going a bit further, Paul recognizes the need to respect his accusers in line with the Word of God.
Paul honors his ruler even though he does not honor the accusations of the person.
So, while previously Paul had a “reckless boldness” that was destructive,
Now Paul has a “respectful boldness” that honors that Word of God.
It’s easy to have a reckless boldness.
Juist decide what I want and then go after it no matter what!
A respectful boldness, however, considers the other person.
I need to remember these examples of Paul in what was a very difficult situation:
Am I able to defend my life before God in all good conscience?
Am I testifying with an honorable boldness of God’s word?
Thank you God for Your word.
Thank you for the example of Paul and those you put in my life.
Help me Holy Spirit to follow their example
In Jesus name