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Pray -

Read Acts 21:31-36

31As they were trying to kill him, word reached the commander of the Roman regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32He immediately called out his soldiers and officers and ran down among the crowd. When the mob saw the commander and the troops coming, they stopped beating Paul. 33Then the commander arrested him and ordered him bound with two chains. He asked the crowd who he was and what he had done. 34Some shouted one thing and some another. Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress. 35As Paul reached the stairs, the mob grew so violent the soldiers had to lift him to their shoulders to protect him. 36And the crowd followed behind, shouting, “Kill him, kill him!”

  • Describe the mob in this passage.

  • How does the mob mentality compare with the mob mentality at the time of the crucifixion of Christ? (Luke 23:20-21)

  • How do we see this mentality in our culture today?

  • Give some examples where some people today have tried to eliminate a Biblical worldview rather than have a public space for disagreeing with it.

Read Acts 21:37-40

37As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, “May I have a word with you?” “Do you know Greek?” the commander asked, surprised. 38“Aren’t you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert?” 39“No,” Paul replied, “I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people.” 40The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic…”

  • What type of opening does Paul begin with in the above verses?

  • Why do you think the Commander is surprised?

  • Does Paul compromise the message or water it down in his response?

  • How does his answer compare with the way you engage with others in the workplace or with a Non-Biblical world view?

  • Give some examples where some people today have tried to eliminate a Biblical worldview rather than have a public space for disagreeing with it.

Read Acts 22:1-4

11“Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.

2When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater. 3Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. 4And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison.

  • How does Paul immediately begin building a bridge with the people listening?

  • How does Paul’s name dropping of Gamaliel help him in his presentation?

  • What types of bridges are you building with the people around you as you share about Christ?

  • How does Paul talk about his own background?

Read Acts 22:5-9

5The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished. 6“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8“ ‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’ 9The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me. 10“I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ “And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’

  • How does Paul back up his claims?

  • What specifically is Paul sharing with these people?

  • Do you think he is concerned with how these people may view him as he shares about his experience?

  • Are you concerned with how people will view you as you share about your faith?

  • Are you able to share the story of how you encountered Christ and what changed in your life as a result of meeting Him?

Read Acts 22:11-16

11“I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. 12A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!

14“Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’

  • How did Ananias display immense courage in this situation?

  • Would you have the courage to meet a terrorist who had a proven track record of helping to kill people with your Christian faith background?

  • What did God do to change Saul to Paul?

  • What has God done in your life to make you a new creature in Him?

  • What are we waiting for in following after Jesus?

  • What is the next step for you in your discipleship journey?

  • Will you commit to taking a step in this direction this week?

Read Acts 22:17-22

17“After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. 18I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’ 19“ ‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you.

20And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’ 21“But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’ ”

22The crowd listened until Paul said that word. Then they all began to shout, “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!”

  • Why is it an issue for Paul to be telling these people God sent him to the Gentiles?

  • We can become irritated with the message when it is hitting close to home for us. How can we allow more of the Holy Spirit to lead us and push us out of the comfort zone?

  • Does God’s Word mess with you?

  • When is the last time you allowed God’s Word to convict you?

  • What is God speaking to you right now about that you need to give over to Him or change?

Read Acts 22:23-29

23They yelled, threw off their coats, and tossed handfuls of dust into the air.

24The commander brought Paul inside and ordered him lashed with whips to make him confess his crime. He wanted to find out why the crowd had become so furious. 25When they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?” 26When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!” 27So the commander went over and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied. 28“I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!” Paul answered, “But I am a citizen by birth!” 29The soldiers who were about to interrogate Paul quickly withdrew when they heard he was a Roman citizen, and the commander was frightened because he had ordered him bound and whipped.

  • Describe the scene and how it turns?

  • How is Paul treated and why is he being treated this way?

  • How were the laws of Rome different from the Jewish laws?

  • How could one acquire Roman citizenship?

  • What do we learn from Paul’s heritage here and why does this instill fear in the Roman soldier?

Think on This…

What is God asking of you this week in your ability to be bold for Him? Are we willing to risk our reputations or potential mistreatment from others in order to obey God?


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