Daily Devotional: Monday 1st June

by William Moody

Acts 21:1–16

Paul Goes to Jerusalem

21:1 And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.1 And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers2 and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. 10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews3 at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”

15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Footnotes

[1] 21:1 Some manuscripts add and Myra
[2] 21:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 17
[3] 21:11 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time

(ESV)

After his missionary exploits Paul is heading back to Jerusalem (v1-3). At Tyre Paul meets with some believers who ‘through the Spirit’ urged him not to go to Jerusalem (v4). This probably means the Spirit had warned some of these believers of the danger that lay ahead for Paul. He didn’t change his plans though, as he still believed it was God’s will to go.

It is important to listen to the advice but ultimately we must follow our conscience as it is guided by God’s truth. The believers at Tyre respected and supported Paul in his decision (v5-6).

At Caesarea Paul receives an even clearer prophecy from Agabus (v10-11). Again the people plead with Paul not to go to Jerusalem (v12).

Paul’s response is strong (v13). He firmly believes that the easy and more comfortable option is not always the right one. As you consider Paul’s words here (v13), how committed are you to follow Christ?

The people here submit to God’s will, no matter what it will cost (v14).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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