GOSPEL MEDITATION # 61
Paul Goes to Jerusalem & Paul Visits James
& Paul Arrested in the Temple
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Not all of Scripture, nor indeed all of the Christian life, is exciting and entertaining. Here we see real-life experiences of the major players in the early Church.
- Leaving Miletus, Paul and company sail away across the northern parts of the Mediterranean Sea and come to Jerusalem. At Caesarea, Paul and company stay with Philip (see Acts 6:1-6, 8:4-9), one of the Seven who has four unmarried daughters who prophesied. A prophet, Agabus (see Acts 11:27-30) warns that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem. Paul nevertheless continues on.
- Reaching Jerusalem, Paul visits with James, the Lord’s brother who is the pastor of the church there. It is noted that in Jerusalem many Jews were now believing in Jesus, and the Jewish opponents are spreading rumors that Paul is preaching that Jews were to leave off practicing Judaism. So Paul is asked to take on a vow (Nazarite vow, see Numbers 6:1-5)) in order to prove he, Paul, had not abandoned his Jewish faith.
- Paul complies, and with four other members of the Jerusalem congregation enters the temple to make their vows.
- The vow is to last seven days. Nearing the end of these days, Paul enters the temple with the four others, but Jews from Asia, where Paul had been preaching, saw him and raised an alarm. A riot is about to break out, especially since it was thought that Paul had brought a Gentile, Trophimus, an Ephesian, into the heart of the Temple.
- Paul is rescued from the mob who are shouting, “away with him,” by the Roman tribune and his soldiers.