Acts | Chapter 22

Friday, October 22, 2021

Read Acts Chapter 22

For a printable version of this Bible Study, click HERE

What stands out to you as you read this chapter?

Are there any words or phrases that you feel are key ideas in this chapter?

What other features do you wish you knew more about (culture, religion, customs, etc.) in order to help
you understand this chapter?

How do you think this chapter fits in the larger story of Acts and the Bible as a whole?

ACT OUT: How does the Holy Spirit want to use this text in your life, for others or for yourself?

With the dramatic pitch raised, Paul begins his defense (Acts 22:1). This is the first of Paul’s five defenses
(“apologetics”) Luke records in Acts 23-26. The major speeches in Acts seem to have a purpose of
persuading readers about such key things as the Messiahship of Jesus, the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s
Kingdom, and the legitimacy of Paul’s ministry. The purpose of making a defense isn’t to save himself,
but rather to clarify the gospel and persuade his opponents to believe in Jesus Christ. In this way, Paul
models Christian apologetics (see 1 Peter 3:14-17).

Do you find it persuasive that Paul recounts his whole conversion story from Acts 9 in this chapter? Most
modern Christians would find it repetitive and skip it. We tend to mine a text for data instead of feeling
the emotion of a story. As he recounted his conversion, Paul wanted his audience to feel the emotion of
standing where he once stood—blind, persecuting the Righteous One (Jesus) promised in the Scriptures
(see, for example, Jeremiah 23:5-6. See also Acts 3:14). Paul’s conversion to Jesus was the result of an
encounter with a blinding light and divine voice, much like Moses in Deuteronomy 5:24 (Acts 22:6-7).
The voice was one witness, Ananias, the devout Jew through whom Paul received his sight and God’s
commission to be a witness (Acts 22:14-15), was another.

These two witnesses should have convinced the Jewish crowd (Deuteronomy 17:6) of Paul’s legitimacy
as an apostle and convinced them to repent. Instead, the minute they heard the word, “Gentiles,” they
fell back into mob violence (Acts 22:22-23). In order to continue to be a witness, Paul made use of his
Roman citizenship (Acts 22:24-29). Luke is setting us up for Paul’s upcoming journey to Rome.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the example of Paul as he defends his faith. Please help me, by the power of
the Holy Spirit, to give an answer to those in my life who need to know you! Amen.

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