Today is Thursday, November 9th, 2017.  Today we look at Paul standing before the Chief Priests and Council. Often times when our society looks upon someone who is a good person there are those who look to tear them down. Because we know the evil that is within ourselves we often don’t want to believe in the good works of others. Paul faces the persecution of these high priests not because he has done anything wrong, but because he is contrary to them and he knows this. Sometimes it is not because we have done anything wrong to someone that they hate us, but because we are contrary to their worldview. If we are like Paul and stand steadfast in the Lord then ultimately the world with see

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever been disliked or even hated by someone just for holding to a belief?
_ Who is someone you place yourself above not because of wrongdoing on their part but because your think of yourself as superior?

PRAY
Lord let me be steadfast like Paul and humble to see when I hold myself better than other. Make me like your servant and not like a whitewashed wall.

DISCOVER  [Acts 22:30-23:11]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

23 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God's high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

_ What does Paul call the high priests?
_ What does Paul tell them he is?
_ What does this do to the council?
_ What is the council's descision?
_ What does the Lord say to Paul?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Are you discourage and feel persecuted like Paul merely for being faithful?
_ Are you like a High Priest or a Whitewashed Wall? Is there someone who you hold yourself better than?  
_ Is there an area where you need encouragement from the Lord in a trial or do you need to be humbled to love a brother?

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?