“After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin—unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’” (Acts 24:17-21)
Desecrating the temple was the only charge brought against Paul that would hold up in a Roman court of law. The Asian Jews who accused him returned home after Pentecost. So the Sanhedrin had no case.
Paul defended himself with truth, not only the truth about the charges but the truth about Jesus. His death and resurrection compel us to give gifts to the poor and bring offerings, to pass on His love, grace, and hope concerning the resurrection of the dead.
When we’re accused by gossipers, do we defend ourselves with the truth about ourselves and Jesus, so our accusers will want to know Him? Or do we get angry and attack?
Father, I praise You for the examples of Paul and Jesus. Help me stand up to my accusers with love, kindness, and the truth about myself and Jesus. Thank you for keeping my loved ones safe and binding us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.