When the traditional period of compliance was almost ended, some unbelieving Jews from Turkey happened to see Paul in the temple (302). They assumed the worst – specifically that Paul had brought Trophimus the Ephesian, a Gentile believer, into the Jewish temple.
So they publicly accused Paul of insulting God by defiling the temple in this way, and they incited a mob to seize Paul & drag him outside the temple, intending to beat him to death!
However, the local commander of the Roman occupation forces intervened. When he couldn’t get a straight answer as to what Paul was accused of, he had his troops take Paul into custody. They actually had to carry Paul, in order to protect him from the mob!
As he was about to be taken into the barracks, the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to ask the Roman commander for permission to speak. When Paul assured him that he was a citizen of Tarsus & not a foreign rebel, the commander gave him permission to speak.
When the mob was quiet, Paul spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, “Brothers & fathers, please hear my defense. I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, but educated here in Jerusalem by Gamaliel; he taught me to follow the law of Moses, strictly & zealously, as do all of you.
“In fact, I used to persecute followers of Jesus, imprisoning men & women alike. Once I was even commissioned to go to Damascus to arrest Christians there!”
God, please help me to love sharing the persecutions experienced by Jesus.
(302) Acts 21:27-22:5