Paul goes to Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit reveals to him that he will be bound by the Jews and handed over to the Gentiles. An angry mob comes after him in the temple where Roman soldiers step in and take him away. At first he is mistaken for an Egyptian rebel but then speaks to the people about Jesus. He is then about to be flogged by the Roman soldiers until they learn he is a Roman citizen; and after this has to stand before the Pharisees and Saducees. A group of Jews take a vow to kill him; but the plot is discovered and Paul is sent to Felix the governor under the guard of a large group of soldiers.
What is one key verse?
“And since he would not be persuaded we ceased and said ‘Let the will of the Lord be done.’”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
God is so far above our understanding that we must put in effort to fully understand His will in what He is communicating directly to us. In verse 4 disciples were telling Paul “through the Spirit” not to go to Jerusalem but in verses 10-11 the prophet Agabus demonstrates to Paul how the Holy Spirit says he will be bound by the Jews in Jerusalem and handed over to the Gentiles. It is likely that the Spirit was showing the same events to those around Paul but only Agabus was seeing and submitting to God’s will for those events.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
We need to work together as the church to understand God’s will in what he is telling us and where He is leading us. Circumstances (such as Paul being taken by the Jews in Jerusalem) may seem like a bad thing until God’s will in the whole situation is revealed.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
Paul shows in these chapters what it really means to “Go with God.” He finds himself at the mercy of an angry mob, Roman soldiers, Pharisees and Saducees; and speaks about Jesus at every turn. After all of this the Lord tells him that he must testify again to these facts in Rome. God is taking Paul all over the place in crazy circumstances but Paul is going with Him to testify about Jesus. I want to do the same in whatever circumstances God has planned for me; continue to testify about Jesus.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
The treatment of Paul at the hands of the high priest made me think of Jesus’s situation and perfection in the same circumstances. While Paul insults the high priest after being struck and needs to repent of it; Jesus fully endures being struck while being questioned by the high priest; and endures the crucifixion fully submitting to God’s will.