Posted: 17 Aug 2011 12:00 AM PDT
By Jon Walker
Paul replied, ‘Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: “Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.”’ (Acts 23:5 NIV)
We have a teachable spirit when we can quickly respond to the truth, bringing our beliefs, thoughts, and behavior into line with what is true.
In a rather extreme example of being teachable, the apostle Paul stands before the Sanhedrin with a bloody lip. Someone had just ordered that Paul be slapped.
Immediately, Paul rebukes the man who gave the command: “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You are sitting there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law are you ordering me to be struck?” (Acts 23:3 HCSB).
Paul is immediately rebuked by the men standing next to him. They tell him that the man who gave the order to slap him was “God’s high priest,” and even though Paul has disagreements with the man, he respects him as God’s anointed leader in that place and for that time (Acts 23:4).
Paul immediately takes the correction and, with the taste of blood still in his mouth, says, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people’” (Acts 23:5 NIV).
The Bible says it is wise to be open to instruction, even rebuke:
“… Rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning”
(Proverbs 9:8b–9 NIV).