Acts 22:1:Men, brothers and fathers! Hear my defense now to you. Acts 22:2:And hearing that he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, they all the more kept silence. And he said, Paul is, now, under arrest (protective custody?), about to enter the building and has permission from the Commander to plead his case to his countrymen. Acts 22:3:I am truly a man, a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today. Acts 22:4: I persecuted this Way as far as death, binding and delivering both men and women into prisons; First, Paul gives his credentials to prove he is a Jew and at that, an exceedingly well trained teacher/guardian of Judaism. Paul, before his conversion was trained by one of the most, excellent teacher/Rabbis of his time. Acts 22:5:as also the high priest bears witness to me, and all the elderhood. And receiving letters from them to the brothers, I traveled into Damascus indeed to lead those being bound to Jerusalem, in order that they might be punished. He goes on to use the testimony of the presiding High Priest and all of the Ruling Elders to illustrate his grounding, knowledge and authority in th religion. Acts 22:6:And it happened to me, traveling and drawing near to Damascus: suddenly, about midday, a great light out of the heaven shone around me. Acts 22:7:And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? Acts 22:8:And I answered, Who are you, lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute. He goes on to demonstrate that his conversion is not a choice made. So much, by himself as it is because the same Jesus that had been hung on the cross for being equal with God, the Father. Acts 22:9:And they who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid. But they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. Acts 22:10:And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise and go into Damascus. And there it shall be told you all things which are appointed for you to do. Acts 22:11:And I did not see, because of the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. The Jewish Believer of the First Century was composed of two, important, groups, the Sadducee and the Pharisee believers. The Sadducee, pronounced, sad you see, did not believe in the resurection but both groups were enlightened to the point that there is more than can be seen. Paul was alluding to the truth of this when he tells of the others experience compared to his own. Then, Paul brings up the point that every Jew should have connected with because he or she had heard from birth of Moses seeing the Hind Part of God on the mountain. The Jew knew that seeing the glory of God would result in death of the body and they knew of the change in the appearance of Moses when he had been with God. The. Vdery. Idea that Paul could no longer see after the encounter should have struck a chord of authenticity with Each of them. (Remember, these folks had been alive when the world had gone black in the middle of the day, as Jesus died on the cross.) Acts 22:12:And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, testified to by all the Jews who lived there, Acts 22:13:coming to me and standing by, said to me, Brother Saul, look up! And the same hour I looked up on him. Acts 22:14:And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you to know His will and to see the Just One, and to hear a voice out of His mouth. Acts 22:15:For you shall be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. Acts 22:16:And now what do you intend? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Again, Paul, knowing his audience, gives them an easily understood and culturally acceptable explanation of these events that shape his Spiritual Life. There are numerous lessons to be learned from every chapter of the Acts of the Apostles and in these verses we should learn to make our testimony relevant to the people we speak to. Jesus had been the God of the Jewish Believer for about four thousand years and Paul was raised with the people of Israel, they knew how to relate because of familiarity. And as we follow the Mission trips of Paul we find that he labored and associated with the peoples he witnessed to, he knew them! Acts 22:17:And it happened to me, I returning to Jerusalem and praying in the temple, I became in an ecstasy. Acts 22:18:And I saw Him say to me, Hurry and go quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me. Acts 22:19:And I said, Lord, they know that I was imprisoning and beating those who believed on You throughout the synagogues. Acts 22:20:And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was poured out, I also was standing by and consenting to his death, and holding the garments of those who killed him. Acts 22:21:And He said to me, Go, for I will send you far away to the nations. Here, Paul, demonstrates his reliance on God. It has not been long enough for the folks to forget the death of Stephan and Paul (I believe hoping to touch hearts for Jesus) reminds them of, not only his guilt in the murder of Stephen, but also of, their guilt and sin. Paul knew and he understood the death of the body and of how it compared with the Eternal Death, the death to be feared. Acts 22:22:And they listened to him until this word, and then they lifted up their voice, saying, Take such a one from the earth! For it is not fitting that he should live. Acts 22:23:And as they shouted and tore their garments, and threw dust into the air, Acts 22:24:the chiliarch commanded him to be brought into the fortress, saying for him to be examined by scourging, so that he might know why they cried out so against him. The Chiliarch was following the wisdom of the Lost Men of that day and, most likely, not speaking Hebrew, was determined to beat an admission of guilt for some crime out of him, that he might bring this incident to an end. Acts 22:25:And as they stretched him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned? Acts 22:26:And hearing, coming near the centurion reported to the chiliarch, saying, Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman. Acts 22:27:And coming up the chiliarch said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? And He said, Yes. Acts 22:28:And the chiliarch answered, With a great sum I bought this citizenship. And Paul said, But I was even born free. Acts 22:29:Then immediately, those being about to examine him stood away from him. And the chiliarch also was afraid, fully knowing that he was a Roman, and that he had bound him. Acts 22:30:On the next day, he desiring to know with certainty why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their sanhedrin to appear. And bringing Paul down, he set him among them. Here we are again with a cliff hanger. Paul has played his Trump Card, saving him from the interrogation and the Chiliarch is confounded on how to proceed. I believe he was determined to find out what this matter was all about and thus he places Paul in front of the Sanhedrin.