2541.) Acts 21:1-14

Acts 21:1-14   (NLT)

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

The narrative is speeding up and there is an atmosphere of approaching storm as Paul comes nearer Jerusalem. Two things stand out here.

(i) There is the sheer determination of Paul to go on no matter what lay ahead. Nothing could have been more definite than the warning of the disciples at Tyre and of Agabus at Caesarea, but nothing could deter Paul from the course that he had chosen. 

(ii) There is the wonderful fact that wherever Paul went he found a Christian community waiting to welcome him. One of the great privileges of belonging to the Church is the fact that no matter where a man goes, he is sure to find a community of like-minded people into which he may enter. The man who is in the family of the Church has friends all over the world.

–William Barclay

1 After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders,

One commentator has said a better rendering is “after tearing ourselves away from them.” This was not an easy farewell! Paul had invested himself deeply in these leaders, and they loved him dearly.

we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. 2 There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. 3 We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.

4 We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week.

We have not heard, in the chapters we have read, about the beginning of the church in Tyre. This reminds us that Acts gives only a partial account of all the “acts of the apostles” and of the Holy Spirit during this time!

These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. 5 When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, 6 and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.

7 The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day.

It must have been wonderful for Paul and his companions to find Christians in virtually every city they stopped in. These bonds of fellowship become all the more precious when one is traveling and a stranger in a city.

8 The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

10 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. 11 He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

13 But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”

In the Iliad, Homer tells of Achilles being warned by the prophetess that if he goes out to a certain battle, he will be killed. “Nevertheless,” answers the Greek hero, “I am for going on.”

No matter what lay ahead, Paul was for going on.

14 When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Paul’s insistence on going to Jerusalem despite the dangers predicted by the Holy Spirit was not a result of rebellion, but an obedient response to the command of the Holy Spirit in his heart. He was bound in the spirit to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21 and 20:22).

The warnings from the Holy Spirit were intended to prepare Paul, not to stop him.
—David Guzik

Ready to Suffer 

Ready to suffer grief or pain,
Ready to stand the test;
Ready to stay at home and send
Others if He sees best.

Ready to go, ready to bear,
Ready to watch and pray;
Ready to stand aside and give
Till He shall clear the way. 

Ready to speak, ready to think,
Ready with heart and mind;
Ready to stand where He sees fit,
Ready His will to find. 

Ready to go, ready to stay,
Ready my place to fill;
Ready for service lowly or great,
Ready to do His will.



HERE  is Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991) with his inimitable voice and “My Jesus, As Thou Wilt.”


Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Danger ahead.   http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/ainacts/ainact11.htm
Acts of the Apostles.  https://umcmonroe.org/acts-of-the-apostles-bible-study/
Achilles in an ancient Greek pottery painting.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles#/media/File:Achilles_fighting_against_Memnon_Leiden_Rijksmuseum_voor_Oudheden.jpg

2 Responses to 2541.) Acts 21:1-14

  1. Noreen Klein says:

    Hi there Rebecca, we seem to be missing episodes daily . We are always sorry when our evening message is not here. Thanks for your efforts. We love it.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi, Noreen! I have no control over how these daily entries get sent out, and my husband has recently been finding his daily postings in his Spam folder. Don’t understand why! All I can do is say — check there! And of course, you can always go to http://www.dwellingintheword.wordpress.com and the most recent one will be there. I am so glad to hear you enjoy DWELLING — it is my joy to put it together!

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