Acts 21:17-26 – February 11, 2007

February 4, 2007 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment


Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Some commentaries state that verse 19 proves that Paul liked to promote himself. Do you agree or disagree?

Discussion)    Even though it seems like yes, the answer is clearly no. Paul was explaining what had been done in each of the Gentile cities and he always pointed everything to Jesus and not to himself.

Q2) In verse 20, what do you suppose Paul told the elders, that they glorified the Lord?

Discussion) The elders glorified the Lord in what they had heard. The key to question 1 is what happened in this verse. We must be careful when we hear people and their stories. Will the story (or events that happened) glorify Jesus and put Him up for others to see or will it glorify the storyteller so that the storyteller will get the praise of men. If the person is pointing to Jesus Christ, then the person is not promoting himself or herself. If the person is not pointing to Jesus Christ then this comes close to some type of form of idolatry.

Q3) In verses 20-22, why were the bretheren concerend about Paul being in Jerusalem?

Discussion) They were concerned for Paul due to the zealousness of the Jews for the law of Moses. Remember in Acts 15 that there were Jews who came out of the church of Jerusalem that went to the new church in Syria of Antioch and said that you must be circumcised in order to be saved. A letter was then written to the church to state that this was a false teaching but to be aware of not doing things like what was done in the temples of the Gentiles. Now forward to Acts 21 and the zealous Jews went to the other extreme that if Paul were not preaching circumcision then he was throwing out the whole law of Moses. Paul was not doing this but was trying to point everyone to Jesus Christ.

Q4) What did the elders want James to do, to prove he still obeyed the Jewish Law?

Clues) This was the trick question. It was Paul and not James.

Discussion) The elders wanted Paul to go through the shaving of his head, with four other Jews and then through the ritual of the days of purification, and pay for all of them doing it.

Q5) Did Paul agree to do what the elders wanted him to do? If so, why?

Discussion) Yes, Paul agreed to do this, but he did not have to. He could have easily said that he was Paul who has planted many churches, that he was a Christian, and that he did not need to go through this Jewish ritual, but he did not do that.   Instead he became a Jew to the Jew so that he may tell them of Jesus Christ.

Q6) What does verse 25 say to you?

Discussion) This verse states that Paul is reiterating what was written in the letter in Acts 15, that these are the things that the Gentile temples to other gods had going on in them. He wanted the new Christian churches in these cities to be different than what was going on in the pagan churches and everything else would fall into place.

Life Application: Reread Acts 21:17-26 then read what Paul writes in I Corinthians 9:19-23. How can we apply this in our lives?

Discussion) Here we see that Paul was telling us to be a Jew to the Jew, a Gentile to the Gentile, weak to the weak and strong to the strong. He is not saying that we participate in the sins of others. Instead he is saying, by his life example, that we need to meet people where they are at instead of trying to change them before the come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Jesus meets us right where we are at and does not want us to change when we come to Him, that will happen later. He is waiting with open arms for each person to run to Him, and that is the way that Paul lived his life towards the lost. This is what we need to do.


Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 20:32-21:16 – February 4, 2007 Acts 21:27-39 – February 18, 2007

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