I saw Jesus! (Acts 22:18)

“I saw Jesus

Saying to me.

‘Hurry!

Get out of Jerusalem quickly!

They will not accept

Your testimony

About me.’”

καὶ ἰδεῖν αὐτὸν λέγοντά μοι Σπεῦσον καὶ ἔξελθε ἐν τάχει ἐξ Ἱερουσαλήμ, διότι οὐ παραδέξονταί σου μαρτυρίαν περὶ ἐμοῦ.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said that he saw Jesus or the Lord (καὶ ἰδεῖν αὐτὸν) saying to him (λέγοντά μοι).  “Hurry (Σπεῦσον)!  Get out (καὶ ἔξελθε) of Jerusalem (ἐξ Ἱερουσαλήμ,) quickly (ἐν τάχει)!  They will not accept (διότι οὐ παραδέξονταί) your testimony (σου μαρτυρίαν) about me (περὶ ἐμοῦ).”  Paul said that he saw the glorified Jesus speak to him while he was in this ecstasy or trance.  Jesus told Paul to get out of town, because they would not accept his testimony about Jesus.  Earlier in chapter 9:26-30, especially 29-30, the Jerusalem Christians were suspicious about Paul because of his past torments against them.  However, Barnabas convinced them that Paul had actually become a follower of Jesus.  Thus, the Christians in Jerusalem helped Paul to escape to Tarsus.  “Paul spoke (ἐλάλει) and argued (τε καὶ συνεζήτει) with the Hellenists (πρὸς τοὺς Ἑλληνιστάς).  But they were attempting to kill him (οἱ δὲ ἐπεχείρουν ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν).”  The Greek speaking Jews, as well as the Greek speaking early Christians were called Hellenists.  It is not clear whether these were Christian Hellenists or the Jewish Hellenists who were upset with Paul.  Probably the later, because Paul was fluent in Greek.  However, there may have been some lingering bitterness towards Paul.  “The believing brothers (οἱ ἀδελφοὶ) learned (ἐπιγνόντες δὲ) of the proposed threat to Paul, so they brought him down (κατήγαγον αὐτὸν) to Caesarea (εἰς Καισάριαν).  Then they sent him off (καὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν) to Tarsus (εἰς Ταρσόν), his hometown.”  They brought him to Caesarea, but sent him to Tarsus.  Paul was sent home.  Perhaps not all the past wounds among the early Christians in Jerusalem had healed.  Besides, Paul was a fiery figure, who did not step away from a fight.  There had been a problem in Damascus and now there was a problem in Jerusalem.  Paul would get into many more disputes.  Do you end up in a lot of disputes?

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