Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”
Acts 23:6–9, ESV
God’s chosen people who first were called the people of Israel but became known as the Jews became segmented in their faith. The divisions of their faith caused them to find areas of dissension and disagreement. When confronted with Christ, they were offended and would not listen to God because they were following more of their own ideas of what God wanted them to do instead of being faithful to God. They had lost sight of the promises given to them in the Bible because they were caught up in the structure of their worship. The Sadducees had denied all the possibilities of the resurrection and discounted the supernatural that they had moved away from those aspects of Scripture. We, too, can become so caught up in our own camps and forget to look to the whole of our faith. Human nature causes us to coalesce into groups in which we find agreement, but we often close our ears to any that may challenge those things we believe are vital. In Christ, it is not often so simple, but we are to be in constant review of the Word and wrestle within it together. Can faith be had within infants and young children? Does the Holy Spirit still give us the gifts that can create miracles? Are there still those prophets with us today? These are just a few that divide us in our faith today. God desires unity in His people as we stand against those who mock and seek to truly destroy our faith, just as there were those within the time of the Early Church. Had the people that were seeking to condemn Paul sought to understand, they too may have come to know Christ and have known His redemption, but when caught up in the world, divisions will easily form, and the faith can easily be forgotten. Let us seek to stand in unity in our faith and proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ to a fallen and broken world.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.