Acts 23, ‘So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night …’

17 Jun

Everyone wants to dump Paul out of their lives. ( Everyone, but his disciples. ) everyone in this section of Acts is carrying out orders:

• The soldiers are delivering Paul to another judge. following orders.

• The Jews believe they are following the laws of the Sanhedrin in their pursuit of Paul to his death.

• The Roman Centurion believes he is following the law protecting Roman citizens.

• The Sanhedrin are following the traditions, laws and orders of their religious beliefs and understandings.

• Felix, the Caesarea governor, will follow the submitted Roman letter and hear Paul’s case.

• and Paul…

Well, let us sit with the text…, and with Paul on a horse from transferred from Jerusalem to …,

Paul Transferred to Caesarea

23 ‘Then he ( the commander ) called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”

25 He wrote a letter as follows:

26 Claudius Lysias,

To His Excellency, Governor Felix:

Greetings.

27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.

31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.’

On a horse leaving Jerusalem, Paul had to thinking of his trip, as Saul, to Damascus. Forced off his horse, blinded, Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1)and probably named after the first king of Israel, Saul hears Jesus speaking to him. He follows Jesus voice, his direction to Ananias’ house. There Saul sees. And he sees Jesus through the words, steps, and hands of Ananias.

Paul is now on another trip. He is following his heart and his Lord’s heart, to Tome where he will testify to the facts of his life with Jesus.

Everyone follows orders at one time or another. The key for an intimate rich and deep life is to follow a pure heart, a heart spoken to by and with grace by the lord.

After such a speaking, no orders are needed, only a heart.

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