12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”
In case you didn’t notice, we are now well into the action-movie section of the Acts of the Apostles. This group has bound themselves by an oath to not eat until Paul is dead! Not just passively. They are going to kill him! The chief priests and the elders are even in on it. This would be the Sanhedrin that Paul aggravated earlier.
Some of these same men may have been around when Jesus cleared the temple and reminded them that it was to be a “house of prayer for all nations.” They either didn’t get it then or they forgot, because their main accusation against Paul is that he brought Gentiles into the temple. They are trying so hard to preserve their temple and their political power that they have become blind and deaf to hearing the truth. They have lost touch with reality for their own power.
The problem is, the last time the Glory of God entered that temple, the people shouted “we have no king bug Caesar” and the Glory was carried out, never to return until the end of the age. Now the Glory of God shows up by the Holy Spirit working in His people, and the people of the law can’t handle it.
About 20 years after these events, the temple would be reduced to rubble. It is still in the state the Romans put it into around 70 AD. The only improvements it’s had are from archeological excavations and comfort measures for tourists.
And we can’t overlook Paul’s nephew. Get a load of this guy! He heard about the oath, so he’s in with the chief priests and elders some how! He visits Paul in the jail, risking his own freedom. Then Paul convinces the guards to take him to the Tribune.
We know absolutely nothing about this kid (or adult) except that he has boldness to speak up for the threat against Paul. In his rescue efforts, he is also guaranteeing Paul’s trip to Rome, whether he knows it or not.
Jesus is at work in Paul’s destiny. The boldness and faith of His people moves it along.
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