In high school, there was a culture among boys which was popularly referred to as “boys-boys”. This culture featured a way of living where every individual boy fought at all cost for the whole of the boys that were on campus. If a boy committed an offense and he was not identified first-hand by the authorities, it would really be difficult for another boy to tell on him and that made it difficult for authorities getting their way with the students.
In this post, I’d like us to do a very extensive study on Acts 23. I will post most relevant portions of the chapter in this post but it will do you great good to pay attention to the entire chapter on your own.
In our societies, families and churches, we come across individuals who barely care for the people around them. It’s a good thing to care for yourself but Jesus said Greater love is for a brother to lay down his life for another. I don’t pretend to have accomplished that but I believe we can get there if we renew our minds hence this post.
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Reading a few verse from this particular verse, you will realise the effect of what Paul said. In this Scripture, Paul had been apprehended because of the Gospel by the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They took Paul because he was wrong and he wasn’t preaching what was right according to their law. The Pharisees, after hearing that Paul was a pharisee too, they immediately began to fight for him. They had put aside the accusations against him and were concerned that he was one of their own. This is the matter of Faith. In our Christian Church, the body of Christ, we are quick to condemn those we figured are not practicing what we know to be right. When the world fights pastors and believers, so sad but some pastors and believers also help the world to fight our very own. In this scripture, the Pharisees knew Paul was condemned, they actually took part in condemning him but when they heard he was one of their own, they could not resist their urge to rescue and protect their own. Stuffs like this don’t happen in the body of Christ. We label our own as false prophets and expel believers as though they were never part of us.
Acts 23:27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
In verse 27, a Centurion, a Roman centurion who also rescued Paul from the war between the Sadducees and the Pharisees, was seeking for a high class protection convoy for the transportation of Paul through the town that had sworn to slay Paul. The centurion took this step because he understood that Paul was a Roman. The man was protecting a fellow citizen. The Centurion had very limited right to take a Jewish prisoner into his custody, but when he heard the man was a Roman, he went on a rescue mission. People don’t care about their own. An African can find a fellow african suffering in Europe or America and not care at all, besides he also worked through to get what he has now. It’s not the best. Love your own, no matter the accusations leveled against them.
Acts 23:16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
In the same chapter, when the Jews had planned and sworn to kill Paul, a family of Paul, came to the rescue. The whole thing is this; Paul was not innocent of the accusations, but Paul’s nephew was loving his own so bad that he couldn’t keep quiet for him to be slain. Families are broken because people among them don’t care for their own, they don’t mind if you don’t make it in life. Selfishness is a disease and when uncontrolled, becomes a plague.
In these scenerios, everyone was loving their own. They were protecting that which bears their name. The Church has certain anointed people who have put themselves under a curse to expose other preachers in the Faith or they won’t eat. It is of no use, there will still be judgement at the end which will do that so why not let that sleep for now. Protect your own. The Christian sinned and you’re a Christian who is peacefully discussing your sister who sinned with an unbeliever, you’re a traitor!
Acts 23:35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.
When Paul was finally taken to Herod, he didn’t judge him outrightly, he put him in the judgement hall. The bible says that Judgement shall begin in the house of God – the judgement hall. Don’t sack people from the church because they sinned, don’t stop preachers that you think are false, leave them in the church, because that is the judgement hall of God. He will judge His own. Yours is to love your own. When a person identifies with the Faith, protect them, whether they are murderers, fornicators, sinners of the highest order, they are Christians. Protect and love them because they’re your own.