Paul starts off addressing the mob as “brothers and esteemed fathers”. This is something lost in today’s climate of disagreeing with others. He addressed them with respect despite the fact that they wanted to kill him. Today we don’t hold to that standard just disagreeing with someone else’s political stance. After that he set up his pedigree for them. He told them who he learned under as that in that day demand respect. Teachers were know for what teacher they learned under.
Paul identified with his audience right away. He talked about how he was like them and persecuted the church in the past. If we want to win people to our way of thinking we must identify with them in some way. He shared his conversion experience. I heard someone say the formula for this is
- Before Christ I was like this…
- I met Christ like this….
- Since I met Christ I am now different like this…
Again Paul shares the two questions he asked upon conversion… 1) Who are your Lord 2) What do you want me to do. I believe Paul spent his whole life answering those questions. Paul continues to share the details of his calling and he tells the crowd that he felt God calling him to the Gentiles.
As soon as he said that word they lost their minds. This is when they wanted to kill him. Religious people who don’t truly know God will always be angered when you are trying new things to reach new people.
The commander takes charge over Paul and orders him to be beaten to confess his crime. Paul asks if this is standard for a Roman citizen. This takes them by surprise that Paul is a Roman citizen. The commander had paid the price for his citizenship but Paul was born a citizen. This changed the way they treated him after that. It was then decided he’d go on trial before the Jewish high council.