- Acts 24:16-20
- Acts 24:16 (KJB)
- And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void
of offence toward God, and toward men.
- Exercise - To endeavor
- Paul then states that in his life he had always endeavored to have a
clear conscience toward God and toward all men. Paul never behaved in a
fashion which would have offended anyone because his lifestyle has proven
that he was a very simple man and avoided any hostilities, but unfortunately
they always found him. He desired to do good toward all the factions in
Judaism but as seen in this event in Jerusalem that there were very
different factions in Judaism concerning such beliefs as the resurrection or
angels. Paul never looked for trouble nor did he ever use his office of
apostle for personal gain.
- Acts 24:17 (KJB)
- Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
- Paul had returned to Jerusalem after many years and especially to bring
the gift from the other churches to the Jerusalem church. He also wanted to
bring an offering unto God. Charitable gifts and offerings are two things
which do show that there was no spirit of enmity in Paul but a spirit of
caring for his own people.
- Acts 24:18 (KJB)
- Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple,
neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
- Paul showed why his conscience was clear concerning himself. When Paul
was presenting his offerings in the temple, he was there as one being
purified, thus fulfilling the requirements of the law. The troublemaking
Jews from Asia had found Paul in the temple who was being quietly submissive
to the fulfilling of the law. He was in the temple without a crowd and
without a tumult. He was not in there to stir up any crowd but to be a
worshipper. He gave his entire attention to the worship of God. The Jews
from Asia had jumped to a conclusion that because they saw Paul with a
Gentile, they immediately thought that he brought him into the temple thus
defiling it, which was a totally false accusation.
- Acts 24:19 (KJB)
- Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought
- Paul then states that since the Jews from the province of Asia were the
real accusers, then it should have been they, and not the Jerusalem company
who should have made the accusations. These others that came up with the
high priest would not have qualified under the law as witnesses because they
were only acting on hearsay. The law required that at least two or three
real witnesses to an actual event was required but since their accusations
were false, they would not be able to prove something which did not happen
without lies and false testimony.
- Acts 24:20 (KJB)
- Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil
doing in me, while I stood before the council,
- Paul then basically states that the ones who came from Jerusalem would
be unable to make or confirm any real accusations against Paul. Simply
because they were not witnesses of anything. It also meant that Paul was
accusing them of being disobedient to their own law. Roman law also required
the need for witnesses but the most they could produce against Paul was a
clever lawyer who had lacked the facts in all areas.