Summary: In the Gospels Jesus’ predictions of his coming passion provide the ominous tone. For Paul’s journey the warnings of the Christians along his way serve this function.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Acts of the Apostles

By: Tom Lowe

Lesson: IV.D.7: Paul at Caesarea with Philip the Evangelist (21:1-14)

ACTS 21:1-14 (KJV)

1 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.

3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.

6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.

7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.


Chapter 20 concluded with the tender meeting he had with the Ephesian Elders at Miletus. Now he boards ship for the voyage that will return him to Israel.

After the parting scene at Miletus, Paul resumed his final voyage to Jerusalem. At this point the “journey itinerary” was probably fixed and included a detailed listing of the ports and stopping points along the way. The most striking characteristic of this section is the warning from Paul’s fellow Christians of the dangers that awaited him in Jerusalem. This is a continuation of the emphasis that began in 20:22, where Paul told the Ephesian elders how the Spirit was leading him to Jerusalem and of the possible dangers that awaited him there. This “journey itinerary” is strongly reminiscent of Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem in the Synoptic Gospels. The same forebodings marked Jesus’ journey—the same strong resolve on Jesus’ part, the same misgivings on the part of His disciples. In the Gospels Jesus’ predictions of his coming passion provide the ominous tone. For Paul’s journey the warnings of the Christians along his way serve this function. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ journey is particularly marked by sayings regarding Jerusalem as the place of rejection for God’s messengers. In Jerusalem Jesus was arrested and executed. In Jerusalem Paul also was arrested and his life put in extreme jeopardy.

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