Daily Devotional: Wednesday 3rd June

by William Moody

Acts 21:27–36

Paul Arrested in the Temple

27 When the seven days were almost completed, 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 is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even 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, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. 35 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mob of the people followed, crying out, “Away with him!”

(ESV)

The danger of outsiders who come in among God’s people is seen here (v27-28). There actions were partly from a misunderstanding (v29).

There is an important lesson here for us not to judge situations we come into if we do not know all the facts. One thing that drives quick and wrong judgement is a dislike of people we are judging. Love covers over a multitude of sins, have we enough love to do this?

The danger of unwise comments is seen here as the crowd are aroused to try and kill Paul (v30-31). Our tongues are one of the most dangerous of weapons. Unwise words can cause division within the church and hinder the Gospel. Pray for restraint in using critical words.

There is an irony here that Paul is rescued and treated better by a pagan commander (v32-36) than by those who claimed to be the people of God. Yet sadly this can often be true today. Pray that in your heart a greater love will grow for God’s people, particularly for those you dislike.

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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