Thursday, 30 November 2017

Acts Chapter 21 - The Journey to Jerusalem


Sometimes we just have to stop somewhere and this happened to Paul and his companions at the start of chapter 21 even though as we saw in chapter 20  Paul's Goal  he was set to get to Jerusalem quickly.



They had to stop at Tyre because the ship they were sailing on had to stop there.

When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 



Similar to other times they found people to fellowship with and through prophetic ministry Paul was advised not to go to Jerusalem.

And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. 


Did this change Paul's mind?

No, at the end of those 7 days in Tyre they headed off once more by ship.

Some time later verse 8 tells us they had arrived at Caesarea

 and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 


The Philip here is one of the Wise & Respected Men we talked about in Acts Chapter 6.  This differenciates the Philip here from Philip who was one of the twelve disciples with Jesus and later referred to as the Apostles.




This is also the Philip from Acts Chapter 8 Good Out of Evil who met the Ethiopian and explained about Jesus from the Old Testament, going on to baptize him in water right where they were.

Then there is something new that we are told about Philip is in verse 9

Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 

What do we learn from this short statement?

1.  He had 4 daughters.
2.  The 4 daughters mentioned were not married so still at home under his influence.
3.  These 4 daughters were used by the Holy Spirit in prophecy.


What do we not learn from this short statement?

1.  The number of sons he had.
2.  The number of daughters he had who were married.
3.  The number of daughters he had who were not used in prophecy.
4.  That these 4 daughters were recognised as prophets in the church.


We must always be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there.

I mentioned previously in A Godly Couple  Chapter 18  how some people like to say the wife was the leader of the this couple and also headed up one of the churches but it never actually says this in the Bible and here again there are people who say that because of this little verse about Philip's 4 daughters we have proof that women were recognised as prophets in the early church.

However we do have proof that Agabus who now arrives to Philip's home is a prophet in the church because verse 10  specifically states it.


There is something more important that happened while they were with Philip as we read in verses 10 & 11

10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”


Would this change Paul's mind from Jerusalem?

No even though everyone there tried to talk him out of going his reply was clear in verse 13


13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”


What a change in the determination of this man who we first met in chapters 7 & 8  when he wanted to persecute the believers and now when he is ready and willingly to be persecuted himself for being a believer.



The change in the determined mind of Paul.


So they got ready and went off to Jerusalem.

17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord.

Yes Paul has made it to Jerusalem.




No comments:

Post a Comment