2015.05.31 Acts 21: 1- 17
Paul´s Love and example to the church part 2
This morning we continue in this great record of the ministry of the Apostle Paul…. He is completing the last little leg of his journey toward the city of Jerusalem…. This is the conclusion of the third of Paul's missionary journey… Everywhere he went… Paul not only preached the gospel and established the churches…. but on every opportunity…. He warned and encouraged the believers… On this third trip…. Paul collected money from the Gentile congregations to give to the poor saints at Jerusalem… A very practical way of showing love and concern…
So as he moves toward Jerusalem…. he has with him a group of Gentile converts that have been won to Christ…. They are representatives of the love of each of the Gentile congregations for the church in Jerusalem…. He has a wonderful report of God´s grace and mercy poured out upon the believers…
And as we look at these passages… we want to see beyond just the facts…. We want to understand the qualities and the spiritual truths that are at work….
He wants to arrive by Pentecost and so he hurries past Ephesus….. On the surface the first part of our text reads like a travel log….. We went we went there….. then we went there….etc….
But when we look closer we see the Luke has included insights into Paul´s love and example….. lets read the last few verses of acts 20… and on into ch 21… ch 20…v36…
Acts 20: 36-38 NKJV slt 2000
36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Acts 21:1-4 NKJV
1 Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 4 And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.
Acts 20: 36-38 slt 2000
36 Und nachdem er dies gesagt hatte, kniete er nieder und betete mit ihnen allen.
37 Da weinten alle sehr, fielen Paulus um den Hals und küßten ihn,
38 am meisten betrübt über das Wort, das er gesagt hatte, daß sie sein Angesicht nicht mehr sehen würden. Und sie geleiteten ihn zum Schiff.
Acts 21:1-4 slt 2000
1 Als wir uns von ihnen losgerissen hatten und schließlich abgefahren waren, kamen wir geradewegs nach Kos und am folgenden Tag nach Rhodos und von da nach Patara.
2 Und als wir ein Schiff fanden, das nach Phönizien fuhr, stiegen wir ein und fuhren ab.
3 Als wir aber Zypern erblickten, ließen wir es links liegen, fuhren nach Syrien und gelangten nach Tyrus; denn dort sollte das Schiff die Fracht ausladen.
4 Und als wir die Jünger gefunden hatten, blieben wir sieben Tage dort; und sie sagten dem Paulus durch den Geist, er solle nicht nach Jerusalem hinaufziehen.
v1… Departed from them…. the greek can be translated ´´tore ourselves away from them`` this was not an easy goodbye…. We talked about that last week…. Paul had poured his life and love into these leaders from Ephesus…. and they loved him deeply in return…..
v3… Landed at Tyre… This famous port was a natural place to stop…. And as his habit was…. he looked for believers…
v4a… and finding disciples…. We stayed there 7 days…. This was certainly one of the places that the early believers were scattered to when the Heavy persecution broke out….. Persecution that Paul had a hand in causing…
In any case…. Paul knew that there were disciples there and Paul reached out to them…. Apparently they had made good time in their travels…
And so as Paul saw the needs in Tyre…. He spent 7 precious days with the disciples there…. He warned and encouraged them…. He taught them the Word of God too….
You say it doesn´t exactly say that…. True…. But that is what Paul always did…… He did not waste any opportunity to teach the Word and encourage the believers..…
Paul was determined to run his race with all of his might… We don´t know who planted the church in Tyre…. But the fact that it is there…. reminds us that the Book of Acts tells us only a small part of the early church's activity…..
v4b… They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem…. The believers in Tyre had sweet fellowship with Paul and the others…..
As the Holy Spirit again said that bonds and afflictions were waiting Paul in Jerusalem…. These believers begged Paul not to go…
Their warning to Paul not to go up to Jerusalem was a human reaction to the Holy Spirit's prophecy of the danger that awaited Paul….. Turn with me to Acts 20…v22…
Acts 20: 22-24 NKJV
22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20: 22-24 slt 2000
22 Und siehe, jetzt reise ich gebunden im Geist nach Jerusalem, ohne zu wissen, was mir dort begegnen wird,
23 außer daß der Heilige Geist von Stadt zu Stadt Zeugnis gibt und sagt, daß Fesseln und Bedrängnisse auf mich warten.
24 Aber auf das alles nehme ich keine Rücksicht; mein Leben ist mir auch selbst nicht teuer, wenn es gilt, meinen Lauf mit Freuden zu vollenden und den Dienst, den ich von dem Herrn Jesus empfangen habe, nämlich das Evangelium der Gnade Gottes zu bezeugen.
v22,23…. This is Paul….. He was totally transformed by the Forgiveness and mercy that the Lord has shown him…..
This hater and persecutor of Christians…. had become the proclaimer of the good News…..
Paul boldly proclaimed the Gospel of the grace of God to a lost and dying world…. These prophesies did not frighten him…..
He was more than willing to lay down his life for the sake of the Lord Jesus who had redeemed him…..
v24… but none of these things move me.….. with joy….His determination to run his race was unshakable… Paul was more than ready to loose his life for the sake of the Gospel… Back to acts 21..v 5..
Acts 21: 5,6 NKJV slt 2000
5 When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed. 6 When we had taken our leave of one another, we boarded the ship, and they returned home.
5 Als wir schließlich diese Tage vollendet hatten, brachen wir auf und zogen fort, wobei sie uns alle mit Frau und Kind bis vor die Stadt hinaus begleiteten; und wir knieten am Meeresstrand nieder und beteten.
6 Und nachdem wir voneinander Abschied genommen hatten, stiegen wir in das Schiff; sie aber kehrten wieder nach Hause zurück.
v5,6…. They all accompanied us … till we were out of the city…. We can see that the believers very quickly formed deep connections…. As we heard from Joshua last night….. The had Spiritual fellowship…. Chapel Praise… The practice of accompanying a traveler to the outskirts of the city was traditional….. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed….. But the practice of kneeling down on the shore together for prayer was uniquely Christian… Pagans always had things…. Idols or altars or sacred trees….. Something as the object and focus of their prayer and worship….
Acts 21: 7-13 NKJV slt 2000
7 And when we had finished our voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day. 8 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Acts 21: 7-13 NKJV slt 2000
7 Und wir beendigten die Fahrt, die wir in Tyrus begonnen hatten, und kamen nach Ptolemais und begrüßten die Brüder und blieben einen Tag bei ihnen.
8 Am folgenden Tag aber zogen wir, die wir Paulus begleiteten, fort und kamen nach Cäsarea; und wir gingen in das Haus des Evangelisten Philippus, der einer von den Sieben1 war, und blieben bei ihm.
9 Dieser hatte vier Töchter, Jungfrauen, die weissagten.
10 Als wir uns aber mehrere Tage dort aufhielten, kam aus Judäa ein Prophet namens Agabus herab.
11 Der kam zu uns, nahm den Gürtel des Paulus und band sich die Hände und die Füße und sprach: So spricht der Heilige Geist: Den Mann, dem dieser Gürtel gehört, werden die Juden in Jerusalem so binden und in die Hände der Heiden ausliefern!
12 Als wir aber dies hörten, baten sowohl wir als auch die Einheimischen, daß er nicht nach Jerusalem hinaufziehen solle.
13 Aber Paulus antwortete: Was tut ihr da, daß ihr weint und mir das Herz brecht? Ich bin bereit, mich in Jerusalem nicht nur binden zu lassen, sondern auch zu sterben für den Namen des Herrn Jesus!
v7… We came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day…. It must have been wonderful for Paul and his companions to find Christians in virtually every city they stopped in…. These bonds of fellowship become all the more precious when persecution or hard times affect our lives….
v8… Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven….. Philip was one of the seven chosen in Acts 6 to serve tables…. He was one of the first group of deacons…. Acts ch 8…
Philipp proclaimed the good news of the Gospel every where he went as he left Jerusalem because of persecution….
v9… Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied…. He finally settled in Caesarea and had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy…...
According to ancient historians…. "The daughters lived to be very old….. They were able to give eyewitness accounts of many events during the first days of the church…
v10,11… A certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea…. Agabus lived in Jerusalem…. He came to Antioch and visited Paul and the church there…. He is the prophet who prophesied the coming worldwide famine…. That series of poor harvests occured during the reign of Claudius Ceasar… by the way… There is no such thing as a prophet making a mistake….. That is called a false prophesy…. Such people are called false prophets…
Like many Old Testament prophets…..Agabus acts out his message to Paul….. Again Agabus says that certain danger awaits him at Jerusalem…..
Notice that the daughters of Philip did not prophesy about Paul's trip to Jerusalem….. The Holy Spirit chose Agabus to prophesy again to Paul…
v11b… So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles… Paul had been told many times that bonds and persecution is waiting him…. But here Agabus gives Paul the most detailed description yet…
In the same way that many OT prophets did…. Agabus acted out the prophesy….. The prophecy of Agabus was true…. and genuinely from the Holy Spirit….. But to this true word….. these believers freaked out and they pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem…..
Though their human reaction was understandable…. even logical in a human way….. it wasn't from the Lord…..
As we know…. Paul had received several prophesies on this very topic…..
v13… For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus…. Paul's insistence on going to Jerusalem despite the dangers predicted by the Holy Spirit was not a result of rebellion…. His determination to go on to Jerusalem… was an obedient response to the command of the Holy Spirit….. He was bound in the spirit to go to Jerusalem Acts 19:21 and 20:22…. The Holy Spirit was leading him…. And He obeyed….
The warnings from the Holy Spirit were intended to prepare Paul…. not to stop him from going….
I think they were also repeated over and over in front of other groups of believers to testify to them…… Paul demonstrated a powerful unwavering faith and trust in the Lord Jesus and in His plan for his life…..They could easily see Paul´s deep and total commitment to serve the Lord not matter what the consequences…. I believe it was for their sake…. And of course for ours too….
We study the great men and women who have gone before us and we are amazed at their dedication and commitment to the Lord Jesus…. Paul´s suffering was also the fulfillment of a prophesy that was given to Ananias in Acts 9: 16….. let´s look at ch 9….starting at vers 13…
Acts 9: 13-16 NKJV
13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Acts 9: 13-16 slt 2000
13 Da antwortete Ananias: Herr, ich habe von vielen über diesen Mann gehört, wieviel Böses er deinen Heiligen in Jerusalem zugefügt hat.
14 Und hier hat er Vollmacht von den obersten Priestern, alle, die deinen Namen anrufen, gefangenzunehmen!
15 Aber der Herr sprach zu ihm: Geh hin, denn dieser ist mir ein auserwähltes Werkzeug, um meinen Namen vor Heiden und Könige und vor die Kinder Israels zu tragen!
16 Denn ich werde ihm zeigen, wieviel er leiden muß um meines Namens willen.
v15,16… he is a chosen vessel of Mine… I will show him how much he must suffer…. It was God´s plan… The Lord himself planned that Paul would go through very hard times for the sake of the Gospel…Of course we know how much he really did suffer!
With the exception of the Lord Jesus…. I cannot think of someone who suffered more than Paul did If you are taking notes…. One of the lists is in 2 Cor 11…v23-28……. What a list….. Could we go through that for the Lord Jesus? What an example of love and sacrifice and determination….
Back to Acts 21…v….14…
Acts 21: 14-17 NKJV
14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
15 And after those days we packed and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Also some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us and brought with them a certain Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to lodge.
17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
Acts 21: 14-17 slt 2000
14 Und da er sich nicht überreden ließ, beruhigten wir uns und sprachen: Der Wille des Herrn geschehe! 15 Nach diesen Tagen aber machten wir uns reisefertig und zogen hinauf nach Jerusalem.
16 Es gingen aber auch etliche Jünger aus Cäsarea mit uns, die brachten uns zu einem gewissen Mnason aus Zypern, einem alten Jünger, bei dem wir als Gäste wohnen sollten.
17 Und als wir in Jerusalem angekommen waren, nahmen uns die Brüder mit Freuden auf.
v14… The will of the Lord be done…. The disciples finally realized that Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem no matter what happened to him there…. They said a very wise thing…. May the Lord´s will be done…..
The Apostle Paul was not out of God's will….. He was not fearful….. He was following the leading of the Spirit of God…. fulfilled prophecy...God had told him exactly what was going to happen….. He was ready for it….. He anticipated it…. As he said…. None of these things move me…. I am ready… Paul was a tremendous example to us because he lived what he preached…. The total commitment that he called the church to follow….was evident in abundance in Paul´s own live…. Look at what he wrote to Timothy…. 2 Timothy 3:10…
v16… some of the disciples went with us… The believers responded to Paul´s love and encouragement…. They wanted to hang with Paul…. In addition the persecution and hard times helped to draw the disciples close to each other… We don´t know much of anything about MNason…. But it appears that he is one of the first believers and that he was well known to the early church…
v17… the brethren received us gladly… What sweet fellowship we can and should have in the Lord Jesus Christ…. We belong to each other… The reason for the church is seen in these truths…. We are called upon to love and encourage each other…. We are here to do life with each other…
We need the Holy Spirit´s help to be patient and gracious with each other… We are to pray for each other and bare each other’s burdens… Galatians 6…
Paul is on his way to prison…. He is full of faith and trust in the Lord…. Later on he will write to the believers in Ephesus… he will describe himself as an ambassador in chains… Remember they were anxious for Paul as they learned that they would never see Paul again…. Let´s read a part of what he wrote… Ephesians 4…v1…
Ephesians 4: 1-4 NLT
1Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
Ephesians 4: 1- 4 Neues Leben
1 Als ein Gefangener für den Herrn fordere ich euch deshalb auf, ein Leben zu führen, das eurer Berufung würdig ist, denn ihr seid ja von Gott berufen worden.
2 Seid freundlich und demütig, geduldig im Umgang miteinander. Ertragt einander voller Liebe.
3 Bemüht euch, im Geist eins zu sein, indem ihr untereinander Frieden haltet.
4 Ihr sollt alle gemeinsam ein Leib sein und einen Geist haben, weil ihr alle zu einer Hoffnung berufen seid.
As Paul is in prison….. doing life….. Paul is continuing to love and serve and encourage the disciples….. He is teaching them by his example in his patient suffering…. He is teaching them how to do life with each other… look at v2…
v2… Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love….. Impossible you say… I say Amen…. Impossible without the Holy Spirit´s help we cannot love and care for each other as we should…… we need the unity of the Spirit… and the deep fellowship that we have in Christ…
Danger caution!!!! Examine your hearts…
Communion is a picture of the fact that we are all in Christ…. And that we belong to each other…
1 Corinthians 11: 23-26 slt 2000
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
1 Corinthians 11: 23-26 slt 2000
23 Denn ich habe von dem Herrn empfangen, was ich auch euch überliefert habe, nämlich daß der Herr Jesus in der Nacht, als er verraten wurde, Brot nahm,
24 und dankte, es brach und sprach: Nehmt, eßt! Das ist mein Leib, der für euch gebrochen wird; dies tut zu meinem Gedächtnis!
25 Desgleichen auch den Kelch, nach dem Mahl, indem er sprach: Dieser Kelch ist der neue Bund in meinem Blut; dies tut, so oft ihr ihn trinkt, zu meinem Gedächtnis!
26 Denn so oft ihr dieses Brot eßt und diesen Kelch trinkt, verkündigt ihr den Tod des Herrn, bis er kommt.