Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.) There was a great disturbance, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks. (Acts 23:6-10)
God gave us a Helper, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16) His assistance includes being an intercessor/counselor (Amplified Version). So when we don’t know what to do or say, God’s Spirit intercedes.
Paul had called the High Priest a whitewashed wall, so the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing body) was furious with him. Without the help of the Spirit, he may have said that he stood on trial because he believed Jesus was the Messiah. The Sanhedrin likely would’ve accused him of blaspheming God—a crime punishable by death.
The Spirit put different words into Paul’s head: “I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” That statement started a violent argument between the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Pharisees believed in resurrection, the Sadducees did not. Therefore, they argued violently instead of accusing Paul, and the commander ordered his troops to take Paul back into Roman custody so he wouldn’t get hurt in the crossfire.
We often forget that the Holy Spirit can intercede when we’re in trouble, so we don’t ask for the Spirit’s help. When we don’t make a request, we often don’t receive it. And sometimes when we get the Holy Spirit’s assistance, we neglect to thank God.
Father, I praise You for the Helper. Let me speak Your words through the Spirit. When I don’t know how to solve a problem, whisper in my ear and tell me what to do. Thank You for Your wisdom. Keep me and my loved ones safe and bind us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.