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154: Paul’s Third Missionary Journey – Part IV

May 19, 2009

[On to Jerusalem]

Text: Acts 21:1-26


  1. Paul Ministers in Tyre and Caesarea            Acts 21:1-9
  2. Agabus Prophesies in Caesarea                     Acts 21:10-14
  3. Paul Arrives in Jerusalem and Reports     Acts 21:15-22
  4. Paul is Instructed in Jerusalem Protocol Acts 21:23-26


Paul and his entourage of seven plus Luke sail to the south of Cyprus on to Syria. They land in Tyre, a seaport midway between Caesarea and Antioch and meet disciples there. Remember that Jesus ministered there and possibly Phillip, Peter, and others too. They stayed in Tyre seven days before sailing to Caesarea. There they stayed with Phillip. Agabus arrives from Jerusalem. He was the one who earlier had predicted the famine throughout the Roman Empire while visiting Antioch some fifteen years earlier. He warns Paul not to go to Jerusalem because of the persecution taking place there by the Jews. The disciples at Caesarea plead with Paul not to go to Jerusalem but Paul’s mind is made up. If he is to be arrested and bound as per Agabus’s prophecy, he is ready. He senses his work on earth may be done. Some of the disciples accompany Paul to Jerusalem and essentially hide him in the house of Mnason, an early disciple from Cyprus.

Paul meets with James and the elders of the Jerusalem church, gave them the gift he brought from Macedonia and Greece, and reported on his ministry during his third journey. Everyone praised God for His goodness and mercy toward the Gentiles.

James also reports that thousands of Jews have become believers but they remain very zealous toward the law. They believe Paul is teaching in error, not emphasizing the law when bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. In a sense that is true. Paul is emphasizing that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. James advises Paul to practice the rite of purification before entering the temple area so as to bring attention to the fact that Paul still maintains Jewish practices. This would be acceptable to the Jewish Christians and also to the Gentile Christians in that the church is on record concerning the practice of circumcision and the eating of meat offered to idols. Paul obliges.

The persecution is such that it won’t be too many years before James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem, is martyred for his faith.  James the Apostle was martyred in 44BC, about 13 years earlier.


  1. Take advantage of every opportunity given to minister to and encourage your fellow believers.
  2. Listen to what others say but always follow what the Lord’s Will is for your life. Ask the Lord for discernment and let Him be your sole guide. He is trustworthy and faithful. He will watch over you.
  3. Reporting on programs is important [see Lessons 146 & 150]. But reporting is not a one-sided affair. Everyone should be reporting to each other.
  4. It is important for Believers to live in peace with others. Therefore, we should follow all local protocol that does not subtract from our belief in Jesus as Lord. It will add credibility to His witness, not detract from it.

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