THE APOSTLE PAUL – LESSON 42
THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY – PART 7
ARRIVAL AT JERUSALEM
Paul left Caesarea with Luke, Aristarchus, Mnason, and the others of his traveling party. They were gladly received in Jerusalem by the brethren. The next day Paul met with the pastor, Elder James (Jesus’ brother) and all the elders. He reported to them all the wonderful results of his journey, and they glorified the Lord for it. (Acts 21:17-20.) His arrival in Jerusalem concluded this third missionary journey.
But they presented their dilemma to Paul. They told him that thousands of Jerusalem Jews had become believers in Jesus, but they refused to give up the old Jewish law with which they had grown up. The elders knew that Paul preached salvation by faith alone, nothing being dependent upon the law. This was okay for the gentiles, but the people expected that Jews converted to Jesus must still obey all the law.
They proposed a solution to Paul, which was actually a compromise. To prove his loyalty to the law as a Jew, he should (again) shave his head as a vow to it along with four other men. They would then go into purification for seven days to prove that he walks orderly in confirming the Mosaic law as his way of life and Paul agreed.
At the end of purification, the five men entered the Temple to make the required offering on the seventh and final day. Jews that were from Asia where Paul had preached and held a great revival (Ephesus) saw him in the Temple and it caused an uproar.
They cried out to everyone of Paul’s apparent hypocrisy in conforming to the law while preaching for years that faith alone was needed because the law was fulfilled in Jesus. They also accused him of bringing a gentile into the temple which was strictly forbidden. An Ephesian, Trophimus, had been seen with Paul in Jerusalem, so they assumed that he had gone into the Temple with Paul. They had no proof or eyewitness of that. Yet, they cried out the accusation to everyone within earshot.
Tomorrow we will begin to discuss what came about due to this commotion.
Yes, they made an assumption, without investigating the facts. Assumptions often may be wrong, yet people today still “jump to a conclusion” based on an assumption. They think they know or understand something, then act as if their assumption was a fact.
Don’t make that mistake. Know the facts instead of what you “think” the facts are.
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