It must have been difficult for Paul to land in Jerusalem. Much like Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, Paul was walking into a storm, knowing that nothing pleasant lie ahead. Still, Paul met the brethren, and in their discussions tried ardently to end any misconceptions. He continued to follow Jewish Law related to purification and certainly did not criticize his fellow Messianic Jews for continuing to follow Jewish Law. The fix was in, however, and within the week, the Jewish elite had Paul attacked and ultimately arrested by the Roman guard. He was beaten and taunted. Finally, the Roman Commander had to arrest Paul to keep him alive.
I am sure Paul was not claiming surprise, nor was he feigning disappointment that this was a part of the journey. Paul was clearly warned His return would end this way, but felt compelled to face the trial as part of the mission. Interestingly, we too were warned. Jesus said in this life there would be troubles, we hear that message and rationally believe it to be truth. But, when application to our personal circumstances sets in, we cry, moan and scream “unfair” at our Heavenly Father. We want to use our spiritual armor, our biblical literacy and our spiritual savvy to face the trials set before us. Though, when trials and temptation happens, we want to blame God and rationalize our responses, no matter how bad.
Face it friends, this life is tough. Being a grown up is difficult at best. We must cling to the truth that God prepares us, provides for us, and protects us from the destruction of the enemy. It often hurts, there are many sad chapters, but in the end–God is glorified, and we are elevated to His side for eternity. what happens during the journey only prepares us more for the glory and blessing that we will receive when we join the Lord in eternity. Never give up, never give in. Like Paul, walk into the adventure with confidence that Jesus will bring you through.
God Bless You
When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)
30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”