Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paul Sees Jesus and speaks to the Council

Today I read Acts 23 where Paul is brought before the council of the Jews which is a mixture of Sadducees and Pharisees. We learn that Paul was a Pharisee as was his father and he successfully manages to turn the council against each other by admitting he believes in the resurrection and by telling his story that he has seen angels. Interestingly enough, the Pharisees find no fault in him and declare that if Paul has indeed seen an angel or a spirit then they should tread lightly so that they are not fighting against God. This is quite a different stance than what they took with Jesus, that is for sure!

Now the more radical element of the Jews did in fact treat Paul just like they did Jesus, meaning they took it upon themselves to do what they deemed "God's work", or kill Paul. It is really interesting how the Romans who were in Jerusalem really took their job seriously, they protected Paul against all threats, perceived and real. Paul's nephew, his sister's son, somehow found out about the group of 40 Jews that were planning on having Paul killed. He goes and tells Paul who tells him to go and tell the Roman centurion what he has learned. The centurion takes it very, very seriously and has 200 soldiers prepared to transport Paul to Rome for questioning. This of course is the direct result of God, as prior to this Paul receives a visit from Jesus Himself telling Paul how pleased He is with him and his testimony that he has borne of Jesus in Jerusalem and Jesus wants Paul to bear testimony of Him in Rome as well.

It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus and Heavenly Father plan things out in advance like they do. I mean for this chief captain to be in place at this particular place at this time they had to put this in place a good 30 - 50 years in advance depending on how old the chief captain was. Just like Heavenly Father put the star that appeared on Jesus' birth at the exact night He was born, that had to have been put in place thousands or years beforehand. It is comforting to know that Heavenly Father has it all figured out and that He has a plan for all of us. If He can calculate the time it takes to put a star in place so that the light of that star reaches earth at a precise moment, or plan to have a chief captain in place so that he is in Jerusalem at the right time to guard Paul so that Paul makes it to Rome unmolested. It really makes me feel protected and safe to know that Heavenly Father has a plan and has it all under control. Until tomorrow.

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