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Acts Reading Plan | Week 15 | Day 5
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As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present.
In Isaiah 30:15, God says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Sit quietly before Jesus right now. Give to Him your troubles, your weariness. Receive His rest and strength.
Bible Reading: Acts 21:27-36
Read these verses three times slowly.
After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.
When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)
The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”
Reflection & Questions
Today, Paul enters Jerusalem to two very different responses.
The brother and sisters in Christ greet him warmly and together they praise God for all the people coming to Jesus!
But, as prophesied, there are also people who are ready to oppose Paul. In fact a whole riot breaks out because of Paul’s presence. “The whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.” The people were chanting, “Get rid of him!”
These very different responses sound a little like the way Jesus himself was received in Jerusalem. Some believed in him and others cried, “Crucify him.” Jesus and His message was polarizing then and it’s no different today. If we’re representing Christ, we shouldn’t be surprised if some welcome us warmly and others reject us. We can take comfort in the fact that they Jesus the same exact way.
- How is Jesus polarizing in our culture?
- Have you faced rejection from those around you because of Jesus? How do you think Paul would encourage you?
Talk to God in response to the reading today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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