The Spirit Explodes
Part 20 of 22 - Jewish justice.
Acts 21:1 – 23:11
by Roger Kirby
From this point on Luke tells his story with big incidents, difficult to ask questions about. These first two and a half chapters are about how Paul was tried before the Jewish authorities and found innocent; the next two and a half are about how the Romans found him innocent; the last two tell the story about his voyage to Rome. We will have to take them in those big chunks with more explanation and less questioning than we have been used to. But first Paul still has to get to Jerusalem. Luke is still with him on this journey and so we get a vivid account of where they went.
Read Acts 21: 1–16.
Luke must have been aware that he was leaving a great puzzle behind for all this readers. In the last chapter he records Paul saying: ‘compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem’. Here he tells us the Christians in Tyre ‘through the Spirit urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem’.
Question 1: How can the Spirit have said these two apparently contradictory things? How can we resolve the conflict and what should we learn from it?
Question 2: Would they be able to do carry out those or equivalent ministries in your church? If, why not?
Read Acts 21:17–22:22.
Question 3: What particular aspects of human nature does this teach us about?
Read Acts 22:23–23:11.
Question 4: Why did he not do so? What should we learn from his experience?