· From Miletus the sailed to Tyre where they stayed with the disciples for seven days. The disciples begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem as the Spirit led them to what would happen.
· They prayed for Paul and his companions who continued on to Caesarea
· They stayed with the evangelist Philip who was one of the seven deacons chosen to care for the widows.
· Phillip had four daughters, all could prophesy
· Another prophet came from the city of Agabus
· This prophet was moved by the Holy Spirit and took Paul’s belt and prophesied that the owner, Paul, would be bound up in Jerusalem and handed over to the Gentiles
· The Christians there tried to persuade Paul not to go
· Paul didn’t disagree with the prophesy, but insisted he was ready for whatever God had in store for him in Jerusalem
· They still pleaded and finally agreed that God’s will must be done
· Paul and his companions were greeted warmly in Jerusalem and taken to James and the elders of the church and Paul gave a full report of his ministry to these leaders.
· The disciples in Jerusalem were thankful for the work Paul was doing
· However, they were also fearful of the rumors that Paul was teaching Jewish Christians to disregard Moses, and encouraged him to participate in a Jewish ceremony that showed his commitment to the Jewish ways.
· They then clarified that this way of living wasn’t for all Christians, for they had told the Gentile churches they didn’t have to obey the law and Moses, but it did apply to Jews who were trying to reach other Jews with the Good News.
· Paul agreed and went through the Jewish ceremony
· Towards the end of the ritual some Jews from the province of Asia (the Gentile area reached the two years Paul was in Ephesus) saw Paul and stirred up the people against him accusing him of bbringing a non-purified Gentile into the holy Jewish temple.
· The Jewish city was in an uproar over the prospect of Gentiles being in the Temple (untrue) and seized Paul and intended on beating him to death.
· The Roman soldiers heard the uproar and the crowd stopped beating Paul when they arrived
· Paul was arrested and the commander couldn’t get to the bottom of what was really happening
· The crowd just kept shouting to have him taken away
· Paul talked with the commander who mistook Paul for an Egyptian terrorist
· Paul identified himself as a Jew and a Roman citizen
· Just because the Holy Spirit shows us that something is going to be hard, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it
· God uses others to speak into our lives, but we must listen to God ourselves to discern his will
· Just because we are free to do something by the letter of the law, doesn’t mean we should do it
· Our witness for Jesus trumps our freedoms in Christ
I want to hear your voice and understand your instruction. Help me not shrink back from your plan even when it’s hard. Please develop in me a love for others that I put aside self, more and more, in order to be used to bring others to you. May our church be marked by a singular focus of sharing the good news of our Lord Jesus with all those around us. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN
Posted on Wed, March 4, 2015
by Joel King