In Jerusalem around A.D. 58, Paul’s teaching came under scrutiny by the church elders, notably the apostle James, the brother of Jesus who had been appointed leader of the Christian church. To reassure the elders, Paul was assigned four Jewish Christians who would, along with the missionary undergo a week long Nazaritish purification process.
“26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.” (Acts 21:26)
Once the purification process was complete, Paul took the four men to the temple to make an offering, announcing the completion of the Nazaritish vow.
“27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)” (Acts 21:27-29)
The Jews from the Roman province of Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital had witnessed Paul’s preaching extensively as the missionary spent over three years in the city, teaching both as the temple as well as the School of Tyrannus. These men did not only accuse Paul of teaching against Judaism, but also charged him with bringing Gentiles in sections of the temple reserved for Jews, notably the temple’s interior court, where the chambers for Nazarites were, forbidding non-Jews to pass the balustrade on the penalty of death.
“30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. 31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.” (Acts 21:30-32)
Paul’s offense to the Asian Jews was so severe to them, they endeavored to kill him. After he was dragged out of the temple, they shut the gates of the temple court so not to pollute the sacred court by the shedding of blood. When he noticed the uproar from his position overlooking the temple, the chief captain of the garrison took soldiers and centurions with him to investigate the matter.
“33 Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. 35 When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!” (Acts 21:33-36)
Because he could not determine the charge, or cause for Paul’s capture and severe punishment, the garrison’s commander ordered he be bound with chains, then carried to the barracks to avoid further disturbance.
The capture and imprisonment in Jerusalem was not only the fulfillment of prophecy, it was also a necessary step that would allow Paul to complete his mission as the author of many epistles that would eventually be gathered with others to complete the bible, God’s divinely created word. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre