Giving a passionate account of how Paul came to see the truth of Jesus (vv.6-21) things seem to be going well. The crowd is hushed and attentive and Paul, no doubt, preached with his aforementioned zeal (v.3). Things seem to be going well until Paul declares that part of his God-given mission is to the Gentiles (v.21).
This causes uproar (v.22) and led to calls for Paul to be put to death. The gathered Jews simply could not fathom Gentiles being brought into the fold of God and the crowd, again, became agitated (v.23).
The Romans decide that the best way to extract the truth about all of this from Paul is under duress (v.24) but before this can take place Paul declares
“Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?”
(Acts 22.25, ESV)
Conversation ensues and Paul reveals that he is highly privileged to be Roman by birth rather than by money and, simply, this unlawful torture cannot go ahead (vv.26-29).
How sad that as the keepers of the law, of tradition, of promises, and of God’s salvation here were so unwilling to share that with others to the point of killing those who claim otherwise (v.22). God’s master plan of redemption and reconciliation has always included those from every nation, tribe, and tongue:
“I, the LORD, officially commission you;
I take hold of your hand.
I protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people,
and a light to the nations,
to open blind eyes,
to release prisoners from dungeons,
those who live in darkness from prisons.”
(Isaiah 42.5-6, NET, emphasis added)
Where we read ‘nations‘ many Bibles have ‘Gentiles‘ and therein we see God’s plan: the promises had to pass through people until the you of Isaiah 42 arrived, the chosen servant that God supports. In the person of Jesus we see a turning point in focus. No longer are we focused on one family carrying the promise until the chosen Messiah comes, He has come, and He has thrown open the way of Salvation with His life, His death, and His resurrection.