Acts 21 Outline
– Paul sailed to Cos, Rhodes, Patara, Cyprus and Tyre (Acts 21:1-3)
– The disciples in Tyre urged Paul through the Holy Spirit not to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4-6)
– Paul continued his journey to Ptolemaic and Caesarea, where the evangelist, Philip, lived (Acts 21:7-9)
– The prophet, Agabus prophesied that Paul will be bound by the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-11)
– The people pleaded Paul not to go to Jerusalem but Paul insisted (Acts 21:12-14)
– Paul and his companions stayed at Mnason’s house in Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-16)
– Paul reported to the brothers in Jerusalem about his ministry to the Gentiles and they praised God (Acts 21:17-20)
– The brothers advised Paul to join some men in their purification rites to avoid the suspicions of the Jews (Acts 21:21-25)
– Paul joined the men in their purification rites at the temple (Acts 21:26)
– The Jews dragged Paul out of the temple (Acts 21:27-30)
– The Roman commander arrested Paul, bound him in chains and put him in the barracks (Acts 21:31-35)
– Paul addressed the crowds in Aramaic (Acts 21:36-40)
Acts 21 Summary
Paul and his companions sailed to Cos, Rhodes, and then to Patara. After that, they board on a ship crossing to Phoenicia. The boat passed to the south of Cyprus and sailed to Cyprus and then to Tyre. After that, they unloaded the cargo at Tyre and stayed there for 7 days. The disciples at Tyre urged Paul not to travel to Jerusalem through the Holy Spirit but they continued their journey nevertheless. Before Paul and his companions left, they knelt on the beach to pray. After bidding farewell, they went on board the ship and returned home.
They continued to travel to Ptolemais and stayed there for 1 day. Then, they sailed to Caesarea, where the evangelist, Philip, one of the seven lived. Philip had 4 unmarried daughters who prophesied. After several days, the prophet Agabus, who was coming from Judea came to them, and took Paul’s belt and used it to bound his hands and feet.
Agabus prophesied that the Jews will bound the owner of the belt in this way. When the people heard this, they pleaded him not to go to Jerusalem. Paul replied that he had prepared his heart to die for the name of the Lord Jesus and he insisted on going to Jerusalem. The people replied let God’s will be done.
A number of disciples from Caesarea accompanied Paul and stayed at Mnason’s house upon arrival at Jerusalem. Mnason was originally from Cyprus and an early disciple. The brothers in Jerusalem welcomed them warmly and Paul reported to them what God had done through him among the Gentiles. They praised God when they heard this.
Then, they advised Paul to take some men into the temple and joined them in their purification rite to remove the suspicion of the Jews that he did not teach the Jews to turn away from the Law of Moses and circumcision law.
Paul followed their advice. He took the men into the temple and underwent the purification ceremony along with them. He give notice when the purification ceremony would end. He also informed the temple officials that offerings will be made for each of the men.
After 7 days was almost over, a number of Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul and dragged him out of the temple and beat him. The Jews saw an Ephesian called Trophimus in the temple, and they thought it was Paul who brought him in because they had seen Trophimus with Paul.
When the Roman commander heard the news, he took his officers to capture Paul and put him in chains. The commander cannot make out what the Jews were saying because some Jews were saying one thing while the other Jews were saying another thing. Therefore, the commander had Paul taken into the barracks.
While in the barracks, the commander asked Paul if he was the Egyptian who led 4,000 terrorists and started a revolt a period of time ago. Paul replied he is a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, an ordinary city. Paul asked the commander for permission to speak to the people and the commander gave him permission to do so. Paul motioned to the people and addressed them in Aramaic as he stood on the steps.
Acts 21 Bible Study
1. The Holy Spirit guides us
While Paul was in Tyre, the people urged him not to go to Jerusalem through the Holy Spirit. When Paul was in Caesarea, the prophet Agabus took Paul’s belt and bound his hands and feet to imply that Paul will be bounded by the Jews this way in Jerusalem. When the disciples heard this, they pleaded with him not to go to Jerusalem. It is probable that the people in Tyre urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit told them that he would face danger there, not because the Holy Spirit did not want him to go to Jerusalem otherwise Paul would be disobeying God for doing so. The Holy Spirit gives us guidance and point us to the direction which God wants us to take so that we will stay in his will and plan. The Holy Spirit is our helper and he helps us in all things.
2. Become all things to all men to win disciples
Paul agreed to undergo the purification rite because he wanted to win the Jewish believers. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul said he will make himself a slave to everyone, to win as many disciples as possible. Paul had became all things to win as many disciples as possible including Jews, one under the law, one not having the law, and those who are weak. We should be able to adjust ourselves to the circumstances of different people to win their souls, but we are not to compromise with the world.
3. Persevere for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ
When the disciples urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem, Paul was determined to go because he wanted to obey God. He was willing to persevere for the gospel. In James 1:12, blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because he will receive the crown of life after he has stood the test. In 2 Timothy 4:8, the faithful believers who longed for Jesus’ second coming will receive the crown of righteousness. In James 5:11, blessed are those who persevere, like Job who persevered, and God blessed him with double portions of possessions and children. In 1 Peter 3:14, you are blessed if you suffer for what is right. In 1 Peter 4:14, blessed are those who are insulted because of the name of Christ, for God’s spirit rest on him.