Today’s passage: Acts 21:17-36
- The church at Jerusalem was now led by elders (A plurality). Once the Apostles had left, the church was to be led by elders. (1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 1:5, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1-5)
- Remember, Paul had also recently completed a Nazarite vow (18:18). The Judaizers were busy trying to discredit those who would preach the gospel to Gentiles and those Jews who would think they could be saved by grace through faith in Christ alone.
- The Judaizers believed that everyone must become a Jew and keep the Law before they could become a Christian…making salvation something one must earn through works.
- The goal of James and the rest of the elders was not to make everyone keep the law to get saved. Instead, they were trying to put to rest these false accusations.
- The elders’ attempt to settle things down didn’t work. If you want to find fault in someone bad enough, you’ll find it…even if the fault you want to find isn’t there.
Questions to consider:
- What does Paul’s willingness to go forward with the plan of the elders teach us about Paul? What was his heart toward the church and how did his goals shape his thinking and his actions?
- Did the elders really have to ask Paul to do this? What could have been some other options to encourage the people of the church in the truth? Ultimately, who stirred up this controversy and tumult?
- In our relationships in the church and outside of the church, what can we control? What can’t we control? Should the possibility of others responding the wrong way keep us from doing what we know is right?