Passage: Acts 21
v1-16 - As Paul works his way back towards Jerusalem, he receives a couple of sincere warnings from faithful Christians that things would not go well for Paul in Jerusalem. These men were not just passing along their feelings or intuitions, they had received this message directly from the Holy Spirit. Despite these warnings, Paul presses on. It can easily seem like Paul was being headstrong or stubborn in ignoring these warnings, but a couple of clues indicate that Paul was in fact aligned with God's will in pressing on to Jerusalem: - Although the Holy Spirit warned of trouble, He never said not to go. - Paul's friends ultimately concede to his insistence, saying, "The Lord's will be done (v14)."
v17-26 - Paul is confronted over his seeming disregard for Jewish laws and customs, but Paul's opponents are missing his nuance. Paul demonstrates that he has no problem following Jewish customs (v26). What he's been preaching and writing in his epistles is that these laws and customs have absolutely no bearing upon a person's salvation. Paul is willing to become all things to all people to win them to Christ (1 Cor 9:22), so if shaving his head is what he must do to not offend the Jews, then off with his hair.
v27-39- Once again, a crowd is whipped into a frenzy with fake news and Paul is arrested.
v40 - Cliffhanger! Tune in tomorrow for our exciting conclusion!
Old Testament Reference -
The Jews mobbed Paul for 'defiling the holy place (v28),' based on teachings like Ezekiel 44:4-9. Which group is this passage more convicting of, Paul or the Jews?
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize: a gift certificate to Seed & Stem 12:27
Picture yourself being present in the situation described in verses 10–14. In light of your own personality, what thoughts or questions would be in your mind after you heard both Agabus and Paul speak? (question is from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament)
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who moves in mysterious ways
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Admit how hard it is to know God's will in every situation and ask for added faith and alignment with the Holy Spirit
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: