Scripture: Acts 21

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READ and STUDY the WORD

On To Jerusalem

Acts 21:1-16 (KJV) And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.  Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.  And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.  And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.  And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.  And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.  And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.  12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.  13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.  14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.  15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.  16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Questions and Answers:

1. Though Paul and his traveling companions were on their way to Jerusalem where did they stop for seven days, why did the ship stop there and who did they find there (Acts 21:3-4)? Paul landed at Tyre to unload the ships cargo and because he found disciples there he tarried for seven days.

2. What did Paul and others do before Paul and his traveling companions boarded the ship and continued their trip (Acts 21:5)? They knelt on the beach to pray.

3. When they reached Caesarea with whom did they stay (Acts 21:8-9). Paul and his traveling companions stayed at the house of Philip, the evangelist, one of the seven.  He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. 

4. Who came down from Judea and what did he do (Acts 21:10-11)? A prophet named Agabus came down from Judaea. When he came up to Paul, he took Paul’s girdle (belt) and bound Paul’s own hands and feet.  And then he (Agabus) said. “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”

5. What did Paul’s traveling companions say to Paul, how did he respond and what did they do (Acts 21:12-16)? Paul’s traveling companions pleaded with Paul to not go up to Jerusalem.  Paul answered them why were they weeping and breaking his heart.  For he was ready to not only be bound but to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they went up to Jerusalem. And they stayed at the home of Mnason, one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival At Jerusalem

Acts 21:17-26 17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.  18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.  20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.  23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.  26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

Questions and Answers:

1. Who gladly received Paul and his companions (Acts 21:17)? The brethren gladly received Paul and his companions.

2. What did Paul say to James and all the elders who were present (Acts 21:19)? Paul greeted and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

3.  How did James and the elders respond (Acts 21:20)? James and the elders glorified the Lord.  But they also asked Paul to be purified along with four men who had made a vow.  

4.What did Paul do (Acts 21:23-25)? Paul took the four men and purified himself along with them.  Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

Paul Is Arrested

Acts 21:27-36 27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.  29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)  30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.  31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.  32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.  33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.  34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.  35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.  36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.

Questions and Answers:

1. What did some Jews who were from Asia do and why did they do so (Acts 21:27-29) Some Jews stirred up all the people and laid hands on Paul. They brought accusations against Paul and attempted to discredit his work for God.

2. How did the people of the city respond (Acts 21:30-31a)? The people were trying to kill Paul. All the city was moved.  They ran together, took Paul and dragged him from the temple.

3. What did the chief captain of the band hear and what did he do (Acts 21:31b-32a)? The chief captain of the band heard that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.  He immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to where the crowd had Paul.

4. What did the crowd do when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers (Acts 21:32b)? When the crowd saw the chief captain and his soldiers they stopped beating Paul. 

5. What did the chief captain command and demand (Acts 21:33)? The chief captain took Paul and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.

6. What did the crowd cry (Acts 21:34)? Some in the crowd cried one thing, some another. When the chief captain could not find out the truth because of the uproar, he commanded Paul to be carried into the castle. 

7. What did the soldiers have to do and why did they have to do it (Acts 21:35)? The violence of the mob was so great Paul had to be carried by the soldiers.

8. What did the crowd say as they continued to follow the soldiers and Paul (Acts 21:36)? The crowd shouted, “Away with him!”

Paul Speaks To The Chief Captain

Acts 21:37-40 37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?  38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?  39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.  40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, …

Questions and Answers:

1. In what language did Paul speak to the chief captain (Acts 21:37b)? Paul spoke Greek to the chief captain.

2. After getting permission from the chief captain to speak to the crowd, what did Paul do (Acts 21:40)? Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the crowd.  When they were silent, he spoke Hebrew to them. 

HEAR the WORD

Acts 21:20-26 (KJV) 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto Paul, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.  23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. 

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the above verses.  Why do you believe Paul went through the purification ceremony with the four men who had made a vow? My Bible notes: Paul willingly submitted to Jewish custom to show that he was still Jewish in his lifestyle.  Sometimes we must go the second mile to avoid offending others, especially when doing so would hinder God’s work.  Paul submitted himself to the Jewish custom to keep peace in the Jerusalem church. Paul was willing to compromise on nonessential points, becoming all things to all people so that he might save some (see I Corinthians 9:19-23).  Like Paul, we should remain firm on Christian essentials but flexible on non-essentials. 

MEMORIZE the WORD

Acts 21:13 (NIV) Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

Paul was willing to die for Jesus.  Are we?

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

When we can say yes to dying for Jesus we are ready to share the Good News with others.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will be guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:4). Lord, I pray we will discern Your plan (Acts 21:10-11). Lord, I pray we will willingly be guided by You (Acts 21:13).  Lord, I pray Your will be done (Acts 21:14). Lord, I pray we will warmly receive others into our fellowship (Acts 21:17).  Lord, I pray we will faithfully share what You’ve done in our life (Acts 21:19).  Lord, I pray we will give You all the credit for anything good that is accomplished in our life (Acts 21:20a).  Lord, I pray we will be zealous for You and Your Word (Acts 21:20b).  Lord, I pray we will be willing to lay down our life for You (Acts 21:30-31).  Lord, I pray we will share You whenever and wherever we can (Acts 21:37-40). In Your Son, Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN. 

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I be willing to lay down our life for our Savior.” <>< Dona