There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man," they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
Thoughts for Today:The Pharisees were much more open to Paul's message regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ than the Sadducees. Why? Because they believed in the supernatural. In other words, the Pharisees were saying, "Hey if he said he saw someone resurrected, then we have no problem with that." Clearly the Sadducees didn't agree and the subsequent dispute became violent once again.
One thing I find really interesting about this exchange is how Paul could ignite such a fierce disagreement between the Pharisees and Sadducees, one that had previously been simmering without significant eruption for generations. But was it really Paul or Jesus? Jesus warned his disciples in Luke 12:51-53, "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
Based on those words, I guess it shouldn't be any big surprise that Sadducees and Pharisees would be divided regarding the issue of the resurrection. Or that our families or friendships might become divided over Jesus as well. Paul instructs us in Romans 12:18, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." That doesn't mean that for us a life in Christ will always be peaceful while on this earth. Sometimes just being a Christian will bring us into conflict with others. Are you prepared?
Questions to Ponder:Do you try to avoid conflict? Although we are called to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God") sometimes conflict will find you because of your faith. The noted Biblical scholar Matthew Henry once wrote, "Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life." I really love that quote. In other words, the goal is not peace in this life but in the one to come. With that thought in mind we can more easily embrace and accept the conflicts we encounter for Jesus without too much anxiety. Have you been having difficulty with an issue that if you spoke about it based on instruction from the Bible it would bring you into disagreement with a family member or friend? Why have you been holding back? Prayerfully consider that sometimes Jesus will use our voice to lovingly confront.