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On to Jerusalem November 4, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 21:1-16.

Summary: In this passage, Paul and his companions sailed from Miletus to Tyre. There, they stayed with a group of believers who entreated Paul to abandon his plans to visit Jerusalem. They then sailed to Caesarea, where they met a prophet named Agabus; he warned Paul that the Jews in Jerusalem would arrest him and hand him over to the Romans. That warning spurred Paul’s companions to entreat him to abandon his plans to visit Jerusalem – yet he was resolute, stating that his plans were in accordance with God’s will.

Thoughts: Here, we see that several believers tried to dissuade Paul from visiting Jerusalem. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary:

Because they did not all have the same revelation, it is not surprising their opinions differed. Since these holy men knew that much depended on the life or death of one man, they did not want him to be in unnecessary danger. And this is praiseworthy, for they wanted to provide for the safety of the church by restraining Paul.

I anticipate meeting Agabus, the believers in Tyre and Paul’s companions in the next life. At that time I hope to learn more about their thoughts and emotions during this passage. Were they entirely ignorant of the fact that God would be glorified through his visit to Jerusalem? Did the Holy Spirit only reveal part of His will concerning Paul to them? Did they consider restraining Paul – by force, if necessary – to prevent him from visiting Jerusalem? When did they comprehend the scope of God’s purposes concerning Paul?

We also see that Paul was resolute in his plans to visit Jerusalem. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary:

On the other hand, Paul’s perseverance was all the more praiseworthy when he continued so inflexibly in the calling of God. He knew what great trouble he would suffer from his bonds, but because he knew God’s will, and because this was his only rule in making up his mind, he took no notice of anything else. We must be so subject to God’s will that no advantage or reason may shift us from simple obedience to him.

I also anticipate meeting Paul in the next life. At that time I hope to learn more about his thoughts and emotions during this passage. If the Holy Spirit only revealed part of His will concerning his journey to the other believers, did Paul entreat God to grant them more wisdom? Did he fully comprehend the misfortunes that would befall him in Jerusalem? Did the Holy Spirit inform him that his visit to Jerusalem would enable him to preach the Gospel message in Rome? Did he consider the fact that his journey to Jerusalem mirrored – to some extent – the final journey of His Lord to Jerusalem as He anticipated His death and resurrection?

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