Welcome to Lesson 20 in your Bible Study of Acts. In this lesson we want to take a closer look at Acts 21 & 22 and Paul’s return to Jerusalem.
Paul’s arrival in Jerusalem (and his subsequent stay) is cause for great emotion, conflict and intrigue. Paul’s stay in Jerusalem is narrated in several chapters in Acts and through various dramatic events (21:17-23:35):
1) James persuades Paul to placate the Jewish-Christians who were still observing the Mosaic (21:17-26).
2) Some Jews from the temple accuse Paul of various crimes and cause an uproar in the city such that the Roman government is forced to intervene (21:27-40).
3) Paul gives a speech to a Jewish crowd and recounts his conversion experience as well as his calling to the Gentiles (22:1-22).
4) The commander of the Roman army discovers that Paul is a Roman citizen and orders that a trial be held where Paul and his accusers can meet (22:23-30).
5) Paul defends himself before his accusers (23:1-10).
6) Paul’s opponents plot to kill him, which leads to his transfer to Caesarea (23:11-35).
For this study, we will only look at the first three episodes though we stress again that all six episodes belong together as one continuous story.
As Paul arrives in Jerusalem, it is surprising that he finds conflict not with the enemies of the gospel as is normal, but rather, from within the church itself.
Apparently, there were still many Jewish-Christians for whom the law of Moses was still an important part of their spiritual life. Many were upset with Paul because he was telling Jewish-Christians that they no longer need to observe the laws of Moses.
Read Acts 21:17-26
As Paul is finishing up his vow, a major riot occurs in town as certain people in the city accuse him. He ends up before the crowd and asks permission to speak to those who are assembled.
Read Acts 21:27-30
Read Acts 22:1-22