From the very beginning of his journey to Jerusalem, Paul knew that he would find great difficulty (20:22-25; 21:4-13). He also found there, however, a great intimacy with Jesus and just as he prayed in a place that, according to many Christians, a follower of Jesus should no longer attend: the Temple. Right there he was raptured in a trance, as we have already mentioned, and Jesus told him to hurry away from Jerusalem, because they would not receive his testimony (22:17-21).
But Paul’s love for his people of Israel was extreme (Rom 9:3) and we saw that he did not want to give up on a last and risky attempt at dialogue (22:1ff). But when he came before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling class of which he had been a part of and which he therefore knew well, he already had little hope left in him, and that that had remained disappeared as soon as he saw their reaction to his first words. Therefore, he abandoned all attempts to persuade them and set the goal of saving himself, so that he could reach the desired destination, Rome (19:21).
To prevent that thick gathering from overwhelming him, he then adopted the classic technique of dividing your opponents, placing them against one another: he succeeded in claiming his belonging to the current of the Pharisees (thus placing Christianity as a development of Phariseism, in opposition to the Sadducees), thus triggering a contrast between the Pharisees, who took to the defence of the Pharisee Paul, and the Sadducees (vv. 6-7). As hoped, the confusion produced, enabled the Roman tribune to take Paul away and rescue him into the fortress. During the night the Lord (Jesus) appeared again to Paul to encourage him and to confirm his goal of bearing witness to him also in Rome (v. 11).
Meanwhile, the hatred of the Jews was so strong that forty men were ready to do anything to kill Paul (vv. 12-13), but if it pleases Him, God requires just a small move to fail plans. It happened then that the son of Paul’s sister heard of the plot and informed the Roman tribune Claudius Lysias, in charge of the order in Jerusalem, who secured Paul by sending him to Caesarea, seat of the Roman political authorities in that area, where at that time was the governor Felix, who kept Paul in custody until his accusers arrived from Jerusalem.