Murder with Malice Aforethought

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 29-30; Acts 23:1-15

12 The next morning some Jewish leaders formulated a plot and solemnly promised that they wouldn’t eat or drink until they had killed Paul.13 More than forty people were involved in the conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have solemnly promised to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 You and the council must explain to the commander that you need Paul brought down to you. Pretend that you want to examine his case more closely. We’re prepared to kill him before he arrives.” (Acts 23:12-15, Common English Bible).

I have vague memories when I was a kid of a family friend having jury duty. I don’t really remember if it was the husband or the wife with jury duty but one of them did and after the trial was over, they told us about it.

I don’t remember now any of the details of the case but I do remember, there was never a question that the perpetrator had committed the crime. He was guilty of murder and I think he even admitted as much. What was at the root of the jury’s debate was, did the perpetrator commit murder with malice, any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. This would be any murder when you sat and thought about doing it. You planned what you would do. Then you went out and did it.

On the other hand, murder without malice aforethought is murder where someone has thought about but has not yet planned the specifics before the murder was actually carried out.

What made it a big deal was the differences in sentences. I don’t remember now what the difference was and the laws in Texas have changed since then. Now in Texas murder is murder, unless it is capital murder. It made a difference.

In today’s Acts readings, the lawyers might have to break out their law books to review what the law actually says.  The Jewish leaders formed a plot to kill Paul. If this were to happen today, you could throw a conspiracy in there as well. That would add even more years to an already long prison sentence.

Those plotting pledged that they would neither eat or drink until Paul was dead. There was malice aforethought and conspiracy too. I do believe it was a long wait for some food. Paul would die at the hands of the empire. It would take a while to happen, but eventually, it did come to pass.

Paul points out, and rightfully so, the Pharisees want him dead. Paul stresses to the group, which included some Pharisees, that he himself was Pharisee, Paul begs to be allowed to stand trial. He wanted a trial. He wanted to receive the same treatment as any other Pharisee received. Paul was still at work, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone he possibly could reach. He wants each of us to have that Good News too. What more could we want?

And as for the Pharisees? what they were doingquite simply, was murder with malice aforethought.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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