Updated: Jan 3
DECEMBER 2, 2021 READINGS... Acts 20:13-21:36
Paul is completing his work in founding and grounding the churches. In Ephesus Paul reminds them of the investment that has been made toward them. He tells them he is heading to Jerusalem, as the Holy Spirit is leading him there. He reminds them that the ONE Gospel is for Jew and Gentile alike. There is not one way to salvation for the Jew, and another way for the Gentile. Don’t listen to those who try to proclaim a dual covenant theology…there is only one covenant, and that is found only through Jesus. Paul encourages the leaders in the Ephesian church to fulfill their call before God, and to the people. Paul will not be able to be there, so now it is time for these leaders to step up and carry on the ministry. They are to continue sharing and teaching the message that Paul had brought to them, guarding themselves and the people from false teachings. The Apostle Paul kneels and prays with these leaders, and he says his final goodbyes…he knew he would never see them again, this side of heaven.
Paul leaves Ephesus and heads for Jerusalem. After Paul had arrived in Caesarea, a port city in Israel located just north of modern-day Tel Aviv. A prophet named Agabus comes to meet with Paul and demonstrates what will happen to Paul is he goes to Jerusalem…he would be bound by the religious leaders and turned over to the Romans. This should sound very familiar to you, just like Jesus. After hearing this, those there began to weep and beg Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Paul reminded them that he must follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, even if it meant his death. We should learn something from Paul…we must follow the Holy Spirit in all things, the result belongs to Him. Paul arrives in Jerusalem and meets first with James and the church council. Later he went to the Temple and was arrested with false charges. The Jewish community was in an uproar, demanding Paul be killed. The Romans take Paul and bind him in the midst of the uproar. So many things are about to happen, not the least of which God is going to allow Paul to share the Gospel truth with the Jewish religious power (the Sanhedrin), and God is going to let Paul share the Gospel to the political, secular, power (Rome).
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Acts 21:37-23:35