Jan 29, 2023
“Pa fè kè nou di” (Travay 21; Travay 22)
“Jangan Keraskan Hatimu” (Kisah 21; Kisah 22)
«Μην σκληρύνετε τις καρδιές σας» (Πράξεις 21· Πράξεις 22)
«دلهای خود را سفت نکنید» (اعمال رسولان 21؛ اعمال رسولان 22)
“Msifanye Migumu Mioyo Yenu” (Matendo 21; Matendo 22)
”Härda inte era hjärtan” (Apg 21; Apg 22)
“Không làm cứng trái tim bạn” (Công vụ 21; Công vụ 22)
‘Verhard uw hart niet’ (Handelingen 21; Handelingen 22)
“不要硬着心”（使徒行传 21；使徒行传 22）
“अपने मन को कठोर न करो” (प्रेरितों 21; प्रेरितों के काम 22)
« N'endurcissez pas vos cœurs » (Actes 21 ; Actes 22)
"لا تقسوا قلوبكم" (أعمال 21 ؛ أعمال 22)
“Não endureçais os vossos corações” (Atos 21; Atos 22)
“Huwag Patigasin ang Inyong Puso” (Gawa 21; Gawa 22)
"אל תקשו את לבכם" (מעשי השליחים 21; מעשי השליחים 22)
„Nu vă împietriți inimile” (Fapte 21; Fapte 22)
“อย่าทำใจแข็งกระด้าง” (กิจการ 21; กิจการ 22)
"Hærd ikke jeres hjerter" (ApG 21; Apg 22)
“不要硬著心”（使徒行傳 21；使徒行傳 22）
「心をかたくなにしてはならない」（使徒 21 章; 使徒 22 章）
“Ne otvrdnite srca svoja” (Djela 21; Djela 22)
“No endurezcáis vuestros corazones” (Hechos 21; Hechos 22)
“Non indurire i vostri cuori” (Atti 21; Atti 22)
’’اپنے دلوں کو سخت نہ کرو‘‘ (اعمال 21؛ اعمال 22)
«Не робіть запеклими сердець своїх» (Дії 21; Дії 22)
„Verhärtet nicht euer Herz“ (Apg. 21; Apg. 22)
« N'endurcissez pas vos cœurs » (Actes 21 ; Actes 22)
«Не ожесточайте сердец ваших» (Деяния 21; Деяния 22)
“마음을 완악하게 하지 마십시오” (사도 21장; 사도 22장)
Scripture reading - Acts 21; Acts 22 Paul’s journey to Jerusalem continues in today’s scripture reading (Acts 21-22). Acts 20 concluded with Paul deciding he would return to Jerusalem for the Passover. Fearing for his safety and life, some sought to dissuade him, but Paul declared, “I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem” (Acts 20:22). Though the Holy Spirit revealed “bonds and afflictions” awaited him, Paul declared, “none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Paul arrived in Caesarea (Acts 21:8-14), the Roman post on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, known as “Caesarea by the Sea.” A beautiful, picturesque location northwest of Jerusalem, Caesarea served the Roman governors of Judea as a retreat from the capital city. (Saved by the sands of the desert, the ruins of the Roman fortress, a beautifully preserved amphitheater, and Roman aqueduct are visible today.)
It was at “Caesarea by the Sea” that Paul renewed fellowship with Philip. Philip, formerly a deacon of the Jerusalem church, was one of seven men chosen to assist the apostles in the distribution of food in Acts 6 (6:1-6; 21:8). He had made his way to Caesarea where we find him aptly titled, “Philip the evangelist” (Acts 21:8). Philip raised a godly family in Caesarea, and was the father of four daughters described as “virgins, which did prophesy” (i.e., teaching those things revealed by the Holy Spirit in God’s Word; Acts 21:8).
Paul was again reminded his journey to Jerusalem would be met by enemies of his own people, who would bind him, and “deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles” (Acts 21:11). Believers begged with tears for Paul “not to go up to Jerusalem” (Acts 21:12), but he answered them, saying, “I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).
Paul’s return to Jerusalem was cause for celebration among the believers (Acts 21:17). He reported to the church elders all “God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry” (Acts 21:18-19). Paul was informed, that while there were “thousands of Jews there are which believe” (Acts 21:20), there were others who would accuse him and stir up the people against him (Acts 21:21-22). Hoping to dissuade the anger and accusations of his enemies, Paul observed the Nazarite vow with four other men, as a sign of “purifying himself” (Acts 21:23-26).
Though Paul complied with the counsel of the church elders, there were some who “saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him” (Acts 21:27). His enemies falsely accused him, and charged he was an enemy of the Jews, had despised the law, and defiled the Temple by bringing Greeks into the holy place (Acts 21:28). All the city was in an uproar, and Paul was hauled out of the Temple (Acts 21:30), and would have been killed had a Roman captain and his soldiers not come to his rescue (Acts 21:31-32). They bound Paul in chains, and carried him “into the castle” (Acts 21:34).
As Paul was led into the castle, he spoke to the captain in Greek (revealing he was an educated man, and not an Egyptian revolutionary as the captain had supposed (Acts 21:37-38). He then introduced himself as a citizen of Tarsus, a city known for its commerce and education (Acts 21:39). Then, Paul requested an opportunity to speak to his enemies, and standing on the stairs overlooking the mob, silenced them with his hand. When the crowd fell silent, Paul began to speak “in the Hebrew tongue” (Acts 21:40).
Paul spoke to the mob as one who loved them, and addressed them as “brethren, and fathers” (Acts 22:1). He recounted his Hebrew lineage, formal education in the law, and zeal for God (Acts 22:2-3). He told how he had been a persecutor (Acts 22:4-5). He related his encounter with Christ, and conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:6-9). He told them of his call and commission as an apostle and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 22:11-21).
After recounting his ministry to Gentiles, the crowd “then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live” (Acts 22:22). The crowd became so violent, that the captain commanded Paul be taken into the castle, questioned, and scourged (Acts 22:23-24). Paul then revealed he was born a citizen of Rome, and the captain “was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him” (for scourging without conviction was a violation of his civil rights, Acts 22:29).
On the next day, the Jewish Sanhedrin was summoned to appear before the Roman captain (Acts 22:30), and Paul was allowed to continue his defense before them (Acts 23:1).
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