Acts 21: Beaten and Arrested For the Sake of the Gospel


(40 verses, 5:20 to read)

What I am about to READ

Paul’s third missionary journey comes to an end. He returns to Jerusalem in the face of great danger. He is arrested and begins his great defense (chapter 22).


1-16: Despite several warnings about entering Jerusalem, Paul would not be persuaded. 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” (v. 13). This was the will of God: “Let the will of the Lord be done” (v. 14)

17-26: Upon entering Jerusalem, Paul and his companions went to see James and all the elders of the church in Jerusalem. Paul gave a report of the mighty work the Gospel was doing amongst the Gentiles. In order not to offend the many thousands of Jewish believers who still lived according to Jewish customs, it was suggested that Paul become like these Jewish Christians (1 Corinthians 9:20-23).

27-36: The initial charge against Paul: “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” (v. 28). They mistakenly thought that Paul had brought Trophimus with him into the temple. The mod riled up, beat Paul and sought to kill him. The tribune (colonel) and soldiers quickly responded to the riot. The tribune (colonel) grabbed Paul and had him arrested, saving his life. The tribunes asked, “Who is he and what has he done?” But, he received no clear answer.

37-40: A case of mistaken identity. When Paul spoke Greek, the tribune questioned his assumption that Paul was an Egyptian rebel, the leader of 4,000 “assassins.” Starting in verse 39, Paul began his defense – clarifying  who he was. He was a Jew, not an Egyptian. He was from Tarsus, therefore he was a Roman citizen who had rights!


Prayer: “Heavenly Father, You gave Your Apostles a mighty faith to preach Christ crucified in the face of persecution and evil. Grant us to remain faithful throughout our lives. Strengthen us through Your word, that we may proclaim Your mighty deeds and say with Paul, ‘For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.


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