3/13/17 The Trial Begins

With the Sanhedrin assembled, as well as the commander of the garrison, his centurions, and several soldiers, Paul is escorted into the room to present his case.  Hands and feet unbound, he is no longer a prisoner, but neither is he free to take his leave.  Actually, he is eager for this chance to speak about His Messiah before this council once more.  He looks into the eyes of every man present before beginning.  “Esteemed brothers of the Sanhedrin, I testify before you today that everything I have done in my life has been done as a zealous servant of the Most High God.”  But before he is able to continue, the high priest Ananias commands one of the Sanhedrin members standing near Paul to go up to him and slap his mouth, because the words Paul has just said are outrageous.  An angry Paul says to him, “God will punish you, you hypocrite!  You are here as a representative of the Law, and yet you defy the law in ordering someone under your authority to hit me!”  Several of the other Sanhedrin members are just as angry at Paul’s words.  “You dare to speak against God’s high priest?” one shouts.  Paul is chagrined – he had no intention of insulting the high priest.  “My apologies, brothers.  I was unaware that he was the high priest.  I abide by the words of the Scriptures, and they say, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

 

Acts 23:1-5

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