Paul’s Return to Jerusalem
Text: Acts 21:1-26
I. Paul and his companions left Miletus and continued their journey by boat.
A. The ship continued its course along the Asian coast until they reached Pataca where they found a ship sailing directly to Tyre.
B. They spent a week in Tyre visiting with the brethren there
1. Warnings continued from the Spirit that Paul should not set foot in Jerusalem
C. When it came time to depart all the brethren saw them off, including the women and children.
1. After a prayer on the beach, they made their final farewells.
D. The boat went to Ptolemais, where it stayed for a day allowing them to greet the brethren in that town
II. Their final stop was Caesarea
A. Here they stayed with Philip.
1. This is the same Philip we read about earlier in Acts 6 and 8.
2. He was one of the first seven deacons and he know is an evangelist.
3. He has been in Caesarea now for about 20 years.
4. Four of his daughters had the gift of prophecy
B. While there, the prophet Agabus came down from Jerusalem
1. He took Paul’s belt and used it to bind his hands and feet.
2. He announced that the Holy Spirit stated that Paul would be bound in Jerusalem and then be handed over to the Gentiles.
C. Everyone tried to convince Paul not to go
1. Paul said they were making things hard on him.
2. He was willing and able to be bound or even die in Jerusalem if the need arose if it did the will of Jesus.
3. Since they could not dissuade Paul, they said, “The will of the Lord be done!”
III. The journey from Caesarea to Jerusalem had to be done on foot.
A. Some of the disciples from Caesarea joined them on their journey
B. They stayed overnight in the house of Mnason, a native of Cyprus.
C. The next day saw them entering Jerusalem.
D. Paul met with elders of Jerusalem and gave them a report of all that happened among the Gentiles
1. The news brought them joy, but they had some concerns
2. The rumor had reached Jerusalem that Paul was teaching Jewish converts to forsake the law of Moses
a. There were tens of thousand of Jewish believers in Jerusalem
b. But they still zealously keep the old Law.
c. It angered them that Paul taught the Jews to leave their customs behinds, such as circumcising their children.
3. The elders were worried that a scene might take place when these Jewish believers hear that Paul was in Jerusalem.
4. They suggested that Paul participate in a Jewish rite – the completion of a Nazarite vow.
a. Generally, a Jewish man served as sponsor, paying their expenses.
b. Paul will take them to the temple and be with them when their heads are shaved.
c. This will show that Paul is not a rebel and still keeps the customs of the Law.
5. This was not to be construed that they thought the Gentiles should keep the Law, just the Jews
a. For the Gentiles, they still abide by the letter sent many years before.
6. Paul consented to do this and took the men for the seven days it took to complete the purification.
a. Paul did not believe it was necessary to follow the Old Covenant practices.
b. But he also was willing to go along if those practices did not violate the New Covenant. - I Corinthians 9:19-21
c. Nothing asked of him broke New Testament principles.