Acts 22

Devotional by Shauna Wallace

Read Acts 22

Acts 22

22 “Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.”

And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet. And he said:

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

Paul and the Roman Tribune

22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

Paul Before the Council

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.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


Miracles, strengthened disciples, and enraged Jews followed Paul to Jerusalem. When the latter violently opposed him, God advanced Paul’s appointed assignment to witness Jesus to everyone (Acts 22:10, 15 ESV). We can expect God to be equally faithful to us when adversaries reject the gospel and the inerrant truth of God’s Word. It may be helpful to remember:

  1. No authority or crowd can divert God’s steadfast love and ever-present help for us as he fulfills his plans (Isaiah 14:27 and Psalm 138:8).
  2. Conflict often presents an opportunity to fearlessly testify what we have seen and heard of Jesus (Acts 22:15).  
  3. God uses us despite our past actions and present reputation (Acts 22:20-21).
  4. Previous peers may become pompous persecutors (Acts 22:20, 22-23).
  5. Some may listen to a certain point before they reject our message, while others will remain curious, like Lysias (Acts 22:22, 24).

Acts 22 challenges me to confront my fear of man and heed Peter’s instruction to “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV). Paul models a simple, practical approach:

1. Establish commonality with your audience: How are you alike?

2. Describe yourself before Christ: Who were you?

3. Share your encounter with Jesus: How did you meet him?

4. Summarize life with Jesus: What changed, and how is it different now?

Proactive preparation matters, for a ready defense breeds boldness to witness Jesus wherever God sends us.

Have you crafted a concise, humble testimony that equips you to explain the hope you enjoy in Christ with those God brings across your path?

21 thoughts on “Day Twenty-Two | The Book of Acts

  1. In order to ADVANCE God’s Kingdom by telling others about Him, you have to have EXPERIENCED His Goodness. We can’t talk about what we don’t know—we need to STUDY God’s Word and ask Him to prepare our Hearts and Minds to receive His TRUTHS❤️🙏🏾

    1. Yes, so very true. I just don’t have the confidence to speak with people about what the Lord has done for me. I need encouragement from God to do what he tells me to do in my life. HALLELUJAH AND AMEN!!🙏📖🙏⛪

  2. “ Proactive preparation matters, for a ready defense breeds boldness to witness Jesus wherever God sends us.”
    I don’t know of a better way to describe the importance of being ready and prepared to defend the faith I have in Christ. Truth be told, I always assumed I’d know what to say in a moment where I need to defend my devotion to the Lord. But if I’m waiting for that moment to develop my defense statement, then I’m probably too late.

  3. I relate to Paul, before I was saved I was in a work based religion and my focus was purely on following the rules/laws of the church. I rarely opened a bible and I only prayed rote prayers. I was at church and served faithfully, I was a good person that wanted to please God. I often share this in my testimony because when I did get saved, I changed radically. I understood that my relationship with Jesus was the way to eternal salvation and not the work I was doing. I still serve but with a different heart, I serve at the will of the Holy Spirit and follow where He guides me. I know my service is not my salvation but rather an expression of many relationship with Christ.

  4. Knowing who you are, that’s what jumps out to me in this passage. Paul not only shared his testimony in Christ, but he knew when to share his earthly citizenship. We are all born into the life we have, by the plan of God. So why were you born where you were? What benefits (rights) do you have? Are you using those to advance the Kingdom?
    I was born (and raised) in East Texas. That may not seem like it has any advantages to a “city person”, but if you put me amongst MY PEOPLE, it carries a lot of merit!!!

  5. v16 jumps out to me today…’& now, why do you wait?’ Father, use me today to share the forgiveness and hope I’ve experienced in Christ…I’m ready!

  6. Some see the light shining through us but do not accept our words of testimony. Father, open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their minds to understand and their hearts to accept and receive.

  7. It is worthwhile to review/memorize key verses like Romans road/ John 3:16 so that they are fresh in your mind and more easily on your tongue.

  8. I am reminded in the passage of GOD’s love and plan for us all; HE is the master planner.
    HE knows why you have to be born in a certain location, home, gain certain experiences and our purpose in this life. Surrender all to HIM , HE is a forgiving GOD.

    May we always trust GOD; trust and have no fear! Amen.

  9. I loved reading Paul’s story from his own heart today! I’ve studied Acts 9 many times, but today hearing him tell it, really made me think. When Paul heard the voices of the ppl yelling at him vs 23 , when they stretched him out for the whips ( OUCH ) vs 25, did flashbacks from the days when he did the same to others come to his mind? I would love to know how he processed his past actions & being treated the same way.

    I love verse 14 God appointed you
    To know his will.
    To see the Righteous one.
    To be a witnesss
    Thank you, God, that you would do that for us!!!

    The tribune desired to know the real reason!! V 30 The Holy Spirit was at work helping the tribune understand Jesus is the Savior!! What we learned in Kids Min yesterday!!
    God show me the ppl around me who are desiring to know the real reason – JESUS!!

  10. Thank you God for the tools you provide to share my faith such as your word, Jesus’ life/death/resurrection, my life’s testimony, the intellect and time to prepare a defense with reason, logic and philosophy, the confidence to lovingly and respectfully persuade those that need persuading, and wisdom from the Spirit of God to know when to shut-up and listen.

  11. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

  12. …so true. Meet people right where they are: at the park, at a restaurant, at a sporting event, at Walmart, at the library, on a vacation cruise, at our Community Ministry Center, down the street, your neighbor…and the list goes on. Is the any place that we should not be ready for the Lord to use us to reach the lost? I would venture to say no…

    Craft your evangelistic story/testimony (what your life was like before, include a bit about the moment your life was changed and then what it’s like now…) And when you share this, at this point you have developed a personal report with someone and can comfortably ask them a question like: In your personal opinion, what does it take for a person to get to heaven and have eternal life? Perhaps you will hear a reply like “…by the precious blood of Jesus who died on the cross while paying the price for my sins…”, or more likely “…Being a good person…” or “…I don’t know…”

    At this point, if there response is similar to the latter, God has handed you an assignment…and opportunity to witness/share… Perhaps you could gently ask…”Well, do you have a few minutes so I can show you what the Bible says about that question?”

    I must say, that more times than not, they say “…yes…” And you show them (1 Peter 3:15)…. And afterwards, you will be rejoicing regardless of the response – because they have accepted Jesus or you have been faithful, obedient and planted a seed!

    Ask the Father for opportunities…and ask Him to fill you full of His Spirit and encourage you to witness to the fact that you are a changed person because of the precious blood of Christ…

  13. One of the meanings of the word paradox is “contrary to expectation.” At times, our God seems to work in paradoxical ways.
    For instance, today, in Acts 22, Paul confessed to the Lord that he” … prosecuted this Way to the death …” Paul imprisoned men and women and beat those who believed in Jesus.
    And how about two other well known great men of the Bible that God used to advance the Kingdom.
    Moses: He killed an Egyptian and fled. And yet, Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible and God used him to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
    King David: A ” … man after God’s own heart …” who composed many of the Psalms we read in the Bible. This great king David stole the honorable Uriah’s wife Bathsheba and then arranged for Uriah’s murder.
    Paul: Well, we know the terrible things Paul did. And yet, Jesus picked him to go tell the world about the Way.
    The point is that we belong to a God who “rebukes and disciplines those whom he loves” But if we are earnest and repent” Revelations 3: 19, He will use us to advance His Kingdom.

  14. It would have been so easy for Paul to give a different account of what transpired on the road to Damascus to save himself from any further persecution. But he was honest and gave his life’s experience for his conversion. This shows us a great example of leadership, stewardship, and devotion to the cause—-our Lord and Saviour! Just as Paul gave his correct account of his experience so should we. His passion and drive to win souls should exemplify our passion and drive as well.

  15. I wonder about those in the crowds who heard Paul’s story and accepted his story about the changes in his life…then had their lives changed, as.well. Though they remain nameless, we can meet them in heaven one day and hear them tell their stories.

  16. I have and that I also believe in the fact that God’s beauty is locked within your testimony on how he has been present within your life and how we are to honor his creation through him (Revelations 4:11)

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