Your own will be against you

Acts 22:30 - The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.

In today's message we read Paul who was born of a Jewish Pharisee and a Roman parents was stuck between both Pharisees and Romans, and both had a hate and love relationship with him.

The Romans did not like him for he became a problem for law and order in Jerusalem and the Pharisees hated him for he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and caused problems for their traditions and beliefs.

The Roman commander tried s best to save Paul when he came to know he was a Roman and see if he could bail Paul out by getting the Pharisees and Sadducees to reconcile with Paul, but in the bargain landed up with a bigger problem on hand. To persecute another Roman needed the Commander to follow a protocol which would cause great inconvenience for him and he tried to find an escape from it. If Paul wanted he could have easily submitted to the Pharisees and the Sadducees but chose to testify Jesus Christ amongst them.

The Pharisees on the other hand, even though hated Paul supported him when Paul smartly put them in confrontation mode with the Sadducees on the topic of afterlife. But later they realized that they were taken for fools by Paul they became very angry and plotted to kill him and not to eat until they did the job.

The Sadducees also were Jews and they too did not like Paul but yet did not hate him as much as the Pharisees did.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace yet He said He did not come to bring peace but unrest and division in a family wherein the father would be against the son and mother against the daughter. Did Jesus contradict when He made that statement? It is only when we understand this will we be more a Christian. Many give up following Christ and become name sake Christians due to not understanding this.

We see in Jesus' life as man, He never had problems with the regular Jews; His problems were only with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees (which included the Jewish priest) and the Sadducees were protectors and professors of their faith and which was contrary to what Jesus Christ stood for. These people had another understanding of the very scriptures which Jesus referred too and this disagreement had cause them to hate Jesus. No doubt there were very, very few among them who gave ear to what Jesus spoke the others had shut their eyes and ears to Jesus. This hardening of heart had caused them to hate Jesus.

The Lord is telling us when we have Christ in us, our priorities and way of life will change and this change will cause a change in the family we live in. If the family members are not protectors or professors of any other belief, faith or worldly system then things may be easy for us but when they are, then there will be turmoil of love and hate relationship. They may love us but our belief will ignite a hatred which will blind their eyes and deafen their ears. Some may go to the extent of making us a greater enemy then their worst enemy.

In these situations we should not fear, for God would take care of us and nothing that is against His will can happen to us. Even if we may face some persecution these would be to build our testimony to bring many more to the Lord. So in either ways if all turns out easy or if we face problems, we need to rejoice for both will glorify God.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Father God, You alone are the King of Peace and true peace abides only in You. Jesus became your message of peace and those who believe in Him and live the message of Jesus Christ will have peace in You. The world hates You and the peace of this world is like sweet poison which causes death. Lord, strengthen us are we become a living witness for You and as we face the people of this world especially those who live in our family. We pray they do not harden their hearts and become protectors and professors of another faith like the Pharisees and Sadducees or protectors of the worldly system like the Romans...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]
Acts 22:24-30; 23:1-12
24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 12:51-53
51 "Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.
52 "For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.
53 "Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

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