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23 And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter in the following manner: 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him. Farewell.  

 

In verses 23-35, the Roman commander sent Paul to his superior, Felix, the governor of Judea, by military protection.  

23:23 

And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 

Having heard of the plot to kill Paul by ambush, the commander called two of his centurions to assemble 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen to conduct Paul to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea. The 470 soldiers were to leave by nine o’clock that night.  

23:24 

and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 

The commander also told his centurions to put Paul on a horse for safety. The objective was to get him securely to Felix the governor.  

23:25 

He [the Roman commander] wrote a letter in the following manner: 

The Roman commander in Jerusalem wrote a letter to Felix, the governor, informing him of the plot to kill Paul. This letter is the only secular letter found in the New Testament. His letter runs from verse 26 to verse 30.  

23:26 

Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 

The name of the Roman commander was “Claudius Lysias.” Having placed his name at the beginning of the letter, he addressed Felix formally. Felix was the Roman governor of Judea from AD 52-60.  

23:27 

This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 

Verse 27 begins the body of the letter the Roman commander sent to Felix, the governor. It informed him about the plot to kill Paul and his rescue of the Roman citizen. However, Lysias lied, saying he had learned Paul was a Roman when he rescued him. In fact, Lysias had learned that from Paul only when he was about to torture him. Lysias’s first assumption was that Paul was an Egyptian renegade.  

23:28 

And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 

Claudius Lysias informed Felix of his step to bring Paul before the Jewish Council to discover why they accused him of a criminal wrong.  

23:29 

I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 

Claudius found from the Jewish council that Paul broke Jewish law, but he found nothing of capital offense or worthy of imprisonment.  

PRINCIPLE: 

The divine institution of government often protects people from its despotism when its leaders don’t.  

APPLICATION: 

Government is a divine entity instituted by God to protect its citizens. It is a protection for individuals from globalism and a one-world government. It does not offer competition from a singular view of the world. Some nations are despotic and others democratic. If all countries were autocratic, there would be no escape from tyranny. Solidity in government is why the Bible challenges us to “honor the king.” We honor him not because of his politics or person but because he is over a divine institution. That is also why Paul apologized for dishonoring the high priest.  

 

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