The mob at Jerusalem reminds me of current news. If you don’t hold the prevailing opinion, they send a mob to shut you down.
Mobs are weak, pathetic things really. (If you’ve ever been part of one you know that’s true.)
The weakness of any argument is the strength it takes to defend it. The truth cannot be threatened – only a lie. A lie takes so much mental or physical violence to defend itself because if left to the strength of its intellectual content it becomes self-evident it is a lie.
Violence, (mental or physical,) therefore is employed to obfuscate the truth of the lie being exposed.
Of course, there are truths worth fighting for, but the fight to defend truth is always reasoned and deliberate, and never rash or unnecessarily violent.
Paul is defending truth. The mob who grabs him is protecting a lie. (The fact a mob is required is a huge clue.)
Think on this: “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against this people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this Holy place.”
Of course, each thing they cry out in their attempt to incite the mob is untrue. But what if what they said about Paul was true?
What does it say about your faith if someone who thinks differently than you about your faith can defile your faith simply by being in your presence?
What does it say about your faith if someone teaching against it can destroy your faith?
And, IF mere words CAN destroy your faith, maybe your faith isn’t in truth but a lie.
This is the dilemma of the Jews at Jerusalem in the days of Paul. They are belligerently clinging to the untruth of religious practice they suspect in their hearts to be untrue – just as all those who involve themselves in any religious practice do – all in the name of man-made ‘faith.’
Truth can stand all the examination anyone at any time desires to effort to pursue. What is true always has been true and always will be. Paul can stand at the center of a violent mob because he stands for the truth of Jesus Christ. There is no mob anywhere at any time that can change that. You can kill Paul, but you cannot kill Jesus because Jesus IS Truth.