Sep 4 — Acts 21-22

Acts 21 — Paul Goes to Jerusalem, Visits James, and is Arrested
Acts 22 — Paul Speaks to the People, The Roman Tribute

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One Reply to “Sep 4 — Acts 21-22”

  1. It is interesting to note that Paul “stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven” (Acts 21:8) when he reached Caesarea. This ties back to Acts 6:5 where Philip is named one of the Seven and adds to Philip’s story after he baptized the eunuch in Acts 8:40 (when the Spirit took him away).

    Paul is not well received in Jerusalem because he preached to the Gentiles. As the crowd became violent, the Roman guards swept in to arrest Paul and squelch the riot. Paul persuaded them to let him address the crowd. “When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet” (Acts 22:2); they listened to his story until he said, “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles'” (22:21). Apparently, that was too much to ask of them. “The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, ‘Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!'” (22:22).

    As the centurion was about to flog him, Paul revealed his citizenship, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” (22:25). Oops! Can’t do that! “The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains” (22:29).

    Paul’s first desire was to serve Christ. The ensuing arguments in Jerusalem among the super religious ultimately propel the Gospel forward. All part of God’s divine plan. But it was not easy and it did not come without pain and suffering. As the Jewish leaders debated and the crowds vented anger, God was not being honored. Those who didn’t know Christ could not have witnessed this and felt drawn to Jesus. There is much more to this story than revealed here. I hope I can learn from the inappropriate reaction of the Jewish people, learn to not be judgmental, learn to listen and grow closer to God. Such misplace anger serves little purpose in advancing the Gospel. Help me to be one of unity.

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