“After I came back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple complex, I went into a visionary state and saw Him telling me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me! ’
“But I said, ‘Lord, they know that in synagogue after synagogue I had those who believed in You imprisoned and beaten. And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I was standing by and approving, and I guarded the clothes of those who killed him.’
“Then He said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”
They listened to him up to this word. Then they raised their voices, shouting, “Wipe this person off the earth — it’s a disgrace for him to live! ”
As they were yelling and flinging aside their robes and throwing dust into the air, the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, directing that he be examined with the scourge, so he could discover the reason they were shouting against him like this. As they stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing by, “Is it legal for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen and is uncondemned? ”
When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commander, saying, “What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.”
The commander came and said to him, “Tell me — are you a Roman citizen? ”
“Yes,” he said.
The commander replied, “I bought this citizenship for a large amount of money.”
“But I was born a citizen,” Paul said.
Therefore, those who were about to examine him withdrew from him at once. The commander too was alarmed when he realized Paul was a Roman citizen and he had bound him.