Putting God's Word into Practice…

Acts 21:1-36 Dangerous Duty

on July 23, 2012

Paul said in Acts 19:21 that his goal was to go to Jerusalem and then on to Rome.  This plan was laid on his heart by the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 20:22-23 we see also that the Holy Spirit assured Paul that imprisonment and afflictions awaited him.  So it should be no surprise in chapter 21 that the Holy Spirit sent warnings to Paul through prophets about what was sure to happen in Jerusalem.  The warnings did not change the mission, but set Paul’s heart to accomplish it through preparatory prayer and dependence on God’s will (21:5, 14).

While Paul was in the temple fulfilling a vow to the Lord, He was ambushed by Jewish men who brought ridiculous accusations against him.

  • Their judgment against Paul had nothing to do with God, but with people and the law. (28)
  • They were using absolutes, “This man is teaching EVERYONE EVERYWHERE…” (28)
  • They speculated that Paul brought Greeks into the temple. (29)

Paul was seized, dragged out of the temple, and beat with the intentions of killing him.  Thankfully a Roman watchman saw the riot and sent up to 1,000 troops to secure Paul, thinking him a violent criminal.   The uproar among the people was so great that the soldiers had to carry Paul above the crowd, while the people shouted, “Away with him!”  

So much of this riot is reflective of Jesus’ final days in Jerusalem too.  In Acts 9:16 Jesus told Ananias to not be afraid to help Saul/Paul because Jesus Himself would show Paul how much he would suffer for the name of Jesus.  Paul expected the danger, but was compelled by the Holy Spirit to trust, surrender and endure.  This was all part of the plan to get Paul to Rome, and to further spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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