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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Mark .Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday , September the 12th. I'm mark . I've got a cup of coffee right here. Of course, I've got my Bible reading schedule. And what I don't have is sermon notes because I did not preach yesterday at west side . Appreciate the guys who filled in for me yesterday. I'm in Knoxville, Tennessee for a weekend meeting. As you are listening to this, I'm probably, I'm probably flying on an airplane because I'm coming home today. It was a Friday, Saturday, Sunday meeting, and I'm coming home on Monday. I'll be at west side , Wednesday night teaching the book of acts. And I am ready to talk to you about the book of acts doing a little pre-recording here, but I'm ready to talk about daily Bible reading in the book of acts let's get started. It is Monday and today we read acts chapter 23 versus 12 to 22. We are resuming the story from Friday when Paul is appearing before the San heed and council. And here there is a brief break in the action because we learn of a plot. When it was day verse 12, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath, neither to eat nor drink until they had killed. Paul. There were more than 40 who made this conspiracy? It's important to realize this is a genuine and very serious threat. 40 men binding themselves with a vow like this. Wow, that is a determined, attempt to assassinate Paul and somewhere in all of this, as we're trying to spend the year with Paul, we ought to think about how Paul felt. How would you feel to learn that 40 men have made a vow to God that they are going to take you out. They will not eat and drink until you are dead. They will not rest until they have killed you. Now you should know. There were ways that even the most strict Jews could be released from an oath . So they probably did not starve to death. But the break in the case here is in verse 16, the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush. You have 40 people involved in a conspiracy, very hard to keep something like that. A secret too many people are in the know too many people are talking about it. And sure enough, Paul's nephew is on the inside and he hears about this. And this is one of those verses where we just want to tug on Luke's sleeve and say his nephew, his nephew is in Jerusalem. Why is he in Jerusalem? Is he training to be a rabbi what's going on there? What is Paul's sister like ? Has Paul broke all ties with his family? Because he became a Christian. There certainly are times like inflicting his three verse eight, where Paul says he suffered the loss of all things. And it's pretty easy to put into that basket, his family and his family ties, but apparently not the loss of all family ties because here his nephew protects him. And then we just get this very high drama in our reading today. When the nephew goes and talks to the Tribune, will the Tribune take him seriously? Will the Tribune see this as a credible threat and do anything about it? Or is Paul just going to be rubbed out? And instead verse 19 there , the Tribune takes him by the hand indicating tact and care. And of course the Tribune does not want the death of a Roman citizen on his hands. He acts and moves decisively to make certain that Paul will not be murdered. And that's our reading tomorrow. See you tomorrow. It is Tuesday. And today we complete acts chapter 23, reading of Paul's journey. Caesarea . This is acts chapter 23 versus 23 to 35, not a difficult reading at all. It will be a reading that helps us as we connect with Paul. And we think about how God protects Paul because here verse 23 tells us 470 soldiers are marching with Paul to guard him or are assigned with Paul. There are some horseman here as well, and they are taking Caesarea where the capital was. That's a journey of about 60 miles. They immediately start it's at nine o'clock at night. The third hour of the night would be about nine o'clock at night. And Paul goes to Caesarea now, and the Jews cannot touch him there. Of course, we then get a letter versus 26 to 30. It's the only secular letter recorded in the new Testament. It's basically accurate. But watch there, you'll get a little bit of this impression that the Tribune did a great job rescuing Paul. And he does not mention that he nearly flogged Paul in violation of Roman law. Please notice there is no charge and that is part verse 29 contains no charge. That is part of Luke's apologetic purpose. The Roman government is not at odds with Christianity. Luke is stressing that repeatedly. Paul has not violated Roman law. There's some craziness with that Jewish law that those Jews can't seem to get over. There's some kind of internal religious conflict. That's how most of the Roman rulers are going to view this. That's how it has been viewed in the book of acts. And Luke is in no hurry to disabuse them of any of these notions. It's unfair. It's not right. Paul is a good Jew and a good Roman citizen. That's being pressed heavily in our reading today. Tomorrow we begin acts chapter 24 and we meet Felix, see you tomorrow. Welcome to Wednesday today. We read acts chapter 24 versus one to nine. And as I promised yesterday, we meet Felix. Felix was not a good person. He was cruel and rained like a tyrant. And he in fact helped push the Juda nation towards war. That war finally comes about in 80 67 in part because of crummy rulers like Felix TAUs, the Roman historian says that he was utterly ruthless. He exercised , this is a quote, the power of a king with the mind of a slave. He had used family ties. His brother was close to the emperor Claudias and later Nero. And he used that tie to get subordinate post. And finally, in 52, he was appointed the governor of Judea. He had three wives. The first was a granddaughter of Anthony and Cleopatra and the current wife that he is with now, as we read in acts chapter 24, today is the youngest daughter of a grip of the first that's the herd of acts chapter 12, who was eaten of worms as if the herd family tree isn't confusing enough here. We have people intermarrying within the herd family tree and joining in with that. We've got a governor marrying a King's daughter. Wow. We need a scorecard to keep up with all the players, but the text today is not complicated. What's important is for us to see what is being said and what is not being said. There's just a lot of flattery here as this lawyer to Tellus begins to accuse Paul in verse two, please underline in verse two, the word foresight, since by your foresight foresight, there is the word that we get our word Providence from. It's the only time that that word occurs in the new Testament. We talk about the Providence of God. That is God in his foresight, providing for us in non miraculous kinds of ways, and then to , to says most excellent Felix. Mm , there you go. Most excellent is being used to describe a government official. And that is the way Luke describes theos to whom Luke and acts are addressed. That is how he describes theos in Luke one verse one. So that's pretty helpful to see that probably says Theus is yes, a Roman official then verse five mentions here that this man is a plague ESV . Some translations have he's a past . All of this is to say that Paul is a political rebel . He is leading sedition against the Roman government. That is an excellent charge to make against Paul, because if Tous can make that stick, he knows Paul will be dealt with in the most firm way possible Rome didn't mess around with people who tried to lead a rebellion or a revolution. Then verse five goes on to talk about he's a sec, a ringleader of the sec of the Nazare. It's the only place in the new Testament where the term Nazare is being used. New . You see here that Christianity is being treated as a sec of Judaism, like the Pharisees or the side you sees . And then finally Tous makes his only real charge here in verse six, he tried to profane the temple profaning a temple in Roman times was a very, very serious offense. And that too was dealt with very harshly. So this is some serious business, some serious charges that are being made against Paul. Let's keep our eye on Paul and see how he handles that. Let's see what he's gonna do about that. And let's see how Paul handles the adversity and difficulty of slander and false charges kind of reminds you of the trial of Jesus. Doesn't it. I'll see you tomorrow. And we'll hear from Paul. It is Thursday and today we read acts chapter 24 versus 10 to 21. We hear Paul's defense in front of Felix. What you'll notice here is that Paul is a lot more honest and he does a masterful job of dealing with the false charges that Tous has launched against him. So for example, in verse 11, he says, it's not been more than 12 days since I came to Jerusalem. I haven't been here long enough to do all the evil and wicked things they say that I do. And in fact, verse 12 I'm, I'm not a ringleader I'm alone. It's just me. Then Paul begins to preach just a little bit. Notice the re reference in verse 15 to a resurrection here. Paul says very clearly there will be a singular resurrection of the just , and the unjust lots of in time scenarios. Talk about there being a resurrection of the righteous and then a thousand year reign or tribulation or terrible things happen. And then at the end, there's another resurrection. That's not what Paul thought. Paul teaches. There's going to be a resurrection, not multiple resurrections, that's important for us. And then again, we get the idea of Paul being a good Jew. Paul being a law abiding citizen, Paul living in good conscience, verse 16, I just came to try to help the poor verse 17. Remember Romans 15, 26 tells us that he brought that collection for Christians, for the Jewish Christians. This is Luke's clearest reference to that collection. That is so important in Paul's writings, but Luke doesn't pay as much attention to it in the book of acts. And then he says he got purified , uh, verse 18. And so instead of the filing the temple, I'm, I'm trying to keep the law. I'm purified in the temple. I'm not breaking the law. And then he says, where are the witnesses? Verse 19 Roman law dealt very harshly with those that could not produce witnesses, just had a bunch of hearsay. Where are the witnesses? This is a serious breach of Roman law. And then he sums all of that up as Paul always does. Let's talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's the thing. Verse 21, that matters the most. That's what makes Paul who Paul is. He has seen the resurrected Lord. I wanna talk about Jesus. What happens next? We'll read that tomorrow acts chapter 24. We'll pick up in verse 22. We'll hear from Felix, see you on Friday. Welcome to Friday. It's acts chapter 24 versus 22 to 27 that we are reading today. As we conclude chapter 24 in the book of acts and it ends well kind of with a dud . It ends with Paul stuck in prison for two years. We'll talk about the significance of that in just a moment. Please notice here that Paul is seen to be innocent again, verse 23, the Roman government doesn't really have a lot of problems with him. He has lots of freedom, lots of lots of Liberty here for Paul Luke's emphasis on this is very important to people who would be reading acts in the first century and who would be concerned about where their Christianity places them in the eyes of the Roman government. I think we need to learn some things from that. Political activism has become something of , uh, of an issue in our day with social media and all of the other things that go on with that. There's lots of polarization, lots of divisiveness in our country about those things. We wanna take note here of how Paul was very much under the radar in doing things to make certain that he was not viewed as a rebel or a reactionary that was not the emphasis pop political gains was not the emphasis of the new Testament church. There's something to be learned about. All of that. If we got tried for being a rebel, would we have the same kind of outcome as Paul gets here, which is basically you're innocent, but I'm getting a lot of peer pressure from a lot of people around me to kind of hang you up in the bureaucratic process. That's where Felix is. And so he continues to listen to Paul preach and verse 24 says he comes in with his wife, Drews , who is Drusilla . She is the youngest daughter of her APA. The first that's the herd who got eaten of worms in acts chapter 12. At this time, she is not even 20 years old. She had been betroth to a prince in Eastern Asia that didn't work out. The prince would not convert to Judaism. So she was given to the king of a messa . That's a small state in Syria, but Felix persuaded her to run off with him, to leave her husband and to run off with him. She became his third wife. In fact, she actually bears him a son who, of course they named a GRPA , what else would you name your kid? And that son died in the eruption of assu in ad 79. So this is a scandalous marriage. And what does Paul preach to people in a scandalous marriage? He reasons verse 25 about righteousness self-control and the coming judgment I expect that made people uncomfortable. And Felix was alarmed verse 25. And he said, listen , uh, I , I got some important things on the docket today. I'll, I'll have to talk with you about this some other time. And he was hoping verse 26, that he would be bribe. You can see how Roman government officials do business here. And maybe he had heard that Paul was carrying money. All of this sets the stage then for festive to arrive verse 25 and replace Felix, which means that we know the date and the timeframe for this varies specifically, this is late ad 59 or early ad 60. We know that because secular sources tell us that Festus took power in ad 60. He replaces Felix because there were some hostilities in troubles in Caesarea, Felix used force to put that down. He was recalled by Rome result. Paul gets left in the lurch. He kind of falls between the cracks and he spends two years in prison are kind of under house arrest, verse 23, lots of freedom. And we have to wonder if this isn't a place where Luke did a lot of research for his book on Jesus and his book on the new Testament church. Luke had the opportunity here for two years to interview and talk to lots and lots of eyewitnesses him to gather material, which he would then put together in the gospel of Luke and the book of acts by the holy Spirit's inspiration. What a time this must have been, but how frustrating it must have been for Paul to sit in prison . When what he really wants to do is go preach and go to Rome, even past Rome to preach the gospel . Well, that's our reading for the week. Thank you so much for listening. If you like the Monday morning coffee podcast, we would certainly like for you to subscribe, follow rate and give a review on whatever app you're listening on. Especially if it's iTunes. The best thing to do is to tell somebody about the podcast that helps the most. Again, I thank you for reading the Bible with me this week until next time, may your coffee be delightful? I hope your Friday is wonderful and I pray the Lord will be with you today. All day. See you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark. For our more information about Westside, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot that's upbeat with two P'S U PP, B E a T , where creators can get free music . Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a cup coffee, of course, on next Monday,