Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three. (Acts 23:6-8)
Paul was many things: brave, loyal, true . . . and, sly! He used his craftiness to get himself out of many predicaments. Some of his best work is heard in today’s first reading.
Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin and knew that the Sanhedrin was sharply divided ideologically. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees did not. As Paul was brought into the court, he immediately introduced a theme that would have the two groups fighting among themselves rather than concentrating upon Paul and what they wanted to do to him.
Actually, it worked a bit too well. As the story continues, we hear that Paul had to be taken out of the room by his jailers because the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to get at Paul while bickering with one another. The commander removed Paul from the room and sent him to another jurisdiction so that his case could be heard.
We are called to be many things in this world of ours. We, too, are called to be brave, loyal, and true. And, just like Paul, we have to resort to a certain amount of craftiness to get our message across to as many people as possible.
That is one of the reasons that we rely upon the Holy Spirit. He gives us what we need to make sure that the Good News is proclaimed.
We have been commissioned to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and we need all the help that we can get to make sure that message is proclaimed. God will be with us and lead us if we but let Him.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer, ask the Lord to direct you through the difficult parts of your day today.