Let’s think for a moment about the conspiracy to kill Paul that we read about in chapter 23, verses 12 through 22.
We read that it was a group of Jews, and they bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
A group of Jews who felt that they had the moral authority to commit murder. What? How can this be? The law clearly states that murder is forbidden. It’s even in the 10 Commandments, right? Thou shalt not murder. (Side note, the 10 Commandments does not say, Thou shalt not kill. Killing and murder are two different things.)
So what’s going on here is an excellent example of what can happen when a group of people have such an extreme and rigid view of an agenda or ideology that they are willing to do anything to defend that ideology.
These Jews thought that Paul’s message contradicted the Law, and they were so extremely incensed that he would dare to preach a different message that they would not, and could not accept his reasoned response to them. They were so rigidly adhering to the letter of the Law that they could no longer hear God’s voice in the intent of the Law, which Jesus came to fulfill. And so, they conjured up this scheme to silence Paul.
Today we might call these people, “radical Jews”.
When a group is so passionately affixed on an ideology that any opposing idea results in invectives and violence, there’s a problem folks. If we can’t agree to disagree, and discuss our differences in a calm and reasoned fashion, there’s a problem.
Just because I disagree with you does not mean I hate you, nor does it give you the right to call me names or strike me or destroy my property or do violence against me.
This is true in matters of religion, in matters of culture, in matters of politics. Civilized people don’t behave this way.