The Art of Quick Thinking

Acts 23:6 Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!”

As I was reading through Acts this morning, I learned a lesson on how important it is to know your audience. When Paul was taken captive by the religious elite, he observed his listeners. He noticed that he was surrounded by Pharisees and Sadducees, parties that held completely different theological beliefs  about life after death.

In this circumstance, Paul was witty, thinking quickly on his feet. He stirred the conversation of his capture toward an area of disagreement between the religious parties. It is in scriptures like this were we can get a chuckle. Can you picture it? Paul calculating exactly what to say to his captors, spryly flavoring it with a point of contention- much like someone at a part secretly spikes the punch bowl. It is hilarious to think about.

I am not quite sure what the “take home” is on this text- except for God’s deliverance of his people from tough situations. But it was a funny illustration of how witty thinking can get us out of difficult situations. I’m sure it won’t always work, but in this case with Paul, it did. Do you have any funny stories about how quick thinking helped you get out of a difficult situation?


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