The tribune came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” Acts 22:27
Paul was born in Tarsus, grew up in Jerusalem, and just spoke his faith story succinctly to the soldiers, townspeople, and Jews gathered before him. He expects his time to talk will be limited and he is correct. What a witness Paul gives to them and to us in that short time span! But listening in anger, some interrupt him shouting, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” Acts 22:22. Then they rent their garments and throw dust into the air to vent their rage.
The governor, tribune Lysias, is responsive to their extreme anger. He directs soldiers to take Paul back to the barracks and examine him by flogging. Lysias seeks to find out the reason behind the angry outcry against Paul. Now Paul had already told tribune and those listening about his birth and where he was raised and yet the tribune sends Paul to be bound with thongs and beaten for information.
A freeman of Rome might be bound with a chain and beaten with a staff but a freeman of Rome may not be bound with thongs, scourged, or beaten with rods.
The wisdom of God has taught Paul to make use of the very moment he is about to be beaten as he asks the centurion, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned? v. 25 It is not. Yet there is a stronger reason that that. This man Paul is a servant of God Almighty. When tribune finds that Paul is born Roman citizen Tribune is fearful of what he has done in military duty. More so, God will deal with tribune because tribune could have asked Paul what he desires to know and Paul will tell him.
As Paul is about to be beaten Paul uses his civil status. Paul says he was born a citizen of Rome. Paul is not a Roman citizen because he was born in Tarsus for Tarsus is not a Roman colony. Most probably his father or ancestors had been made free in Rome because of military service. For we are not to give up our civil rights as Christians. Gratitude to God and duty to humanity many times calls for the need to use our personal and civil status’.
Lastly, since tribune wants to find out what Paul is accused of, he releases him the next day and he takes Paul to stand before the chief priests and the entire council of the Jews.