Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. Acts 23:2
Paul now stands before the extensive council. Paul has a clear conscience as a servant of Jesus Christ and waits to hear if anyone has any questions of him. His clear conscience began when he became a Christian, for no one sitting before him (the high priest and the extensive members of the council) questions his behavior and beliefs before his New Birth in Christ. Whatever they may think or say of him Paul is standing before God with a clear conscience.
Then high priest Ananias son of Nebedeus orders those standing near to Paul to strike him on the mouth. Paul then prophetically says, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” Acts 22:3. Ananias looks to be lily white on the outside but inside he is filled with dirt and grunge.
Ananias is highly esteemed at this point in time but just five years later his house is reduced to ashes and his own son causes such a tumult that Ananias high priest is hotly pursued by armed forces, hides in an aqueduct, is found and dragged out, and then miserably slain.
Standing before the extensive council it is through the guidance of Spirit that Paul does not formally recognize this Ananias as high priest. God does not recognize this Ananias. Here Paul’s frame of mind recognizes Moses’ people, the brethren, as he refers to them now. Paul is a Pharisee, and the son of a Pharisee, and yet not anymore as his New Birth has made him the servant of Jesus Christ in league with all the servants of Christ.
He confesses the Resurrection Of The Dead, the existence of angels, and the spiritual force of Christ alive within. Some of the Pharisees believe and have faith in Jesus too and as Paul has declared Jesus Risen from the dead before this, from the steps after his arrest, Paul continues to boldly stand firm for Christ and speak witness to our very alive Risen Savior.