Acts 22:1-11 Paul defends himself to his Jewish brethren. He begins by telling them how was educated by the great Gamaliel. He was strict with the law and zealous for God. He alone went on a mission to persecute those who believed in Jesus. On his way to Damascus to round up some Christians to bring back to Jerusalem for punishment, Jesus appeared to him in a vision, told him who He was, and that He had set Paul aside to ultimately spread the Gospel among the Gentiles.
Notes: Gamaliel. That Paul had studied under the most celebrated rabbi of that day was further evidence that the charges against him were absurd. Also, though he did not mention it to the crowd, he also had been a Pharisee. Paul’s zeal for his Jewish heritage far outstripped that of his hearers.
Acts 22:12-21 Paul continues his address by telling how a devout Jew named Ananias, well-spoken of by all the Jews, came to him and was used by God to restore Paul’s sight. Paul was then baptized and soon returned to Jerusalem. When praying in the temple, Jesus appeared to him and told him to leave Jerusalem, for the Jews would not accept his message. Paul told the Lord how everyone knew how he used to persecute His followers., but Jesus told him that He would send him far away to preach to the Gentiles.
Notes: Ananias. See note on 9:10. His testimony as a respected member of Damascus’s Jewish community would carry weight with Paul’s hostile audience.
Acts 22:21-29 Upon hearing ‘Gentiles’, the Jews became enraged. They wanted to kill Paul on the spot. The tribune ordered Paul to the barracks to be interrogated by torture to find out what was going on (Not understanding Hebrew). Before the flogging commenced, Paul told the tribune that he was a Roman citizen. Paul now exerted his rights as a Roman citizen. His claim would not have been questioned, because the penalty for falsely claiming Roman citizenship was death. The tribune at first doubted Paul stating that he gained his citizenship with a large bribe. Paul said he became a citizen at birth. The tribune feared legal retribution, so he released Paul from his chains.
Notes: Paul’s insistence that the Lord had sent him to minister to the despised Gentiles was too much for the crowd. They viewed the teaching that Gentiles could be saved without first becoming Jewish proselytes (thus granting them equal status with the Jewish people before God) as intolerable blasphemy.
Acts 22:30 The tribune kept Paul in custody. The following day, the tribune desired to know the real reason Paul was being accused by the Jews, so he gathered the chief priests and all those that belonged to the Jewish council and set up a meeting to get to the bottom of it all.
Notes: Unable to get any answers by scourging, the tribune turned to the Jewish court for help.