Paul Begins His Trip to Jerusalem: Acts 21:1-6
Scripture: Acts 21:1-6
As Paul had left Miletus where he had addressed the Ephesian elders, he left for Jerusalem knowing that he faced bounds and afflictions (Acts 20:22-23) and that he would not see them again. Acts 21:1 picks up the narrative with Paul leaving by ship with Luke providing a detailed travel description. They end up in Tyre where the ship was to unload its cargo. We discuss the details provided as well as the “we” passages which indicate that Luke was present with Paul. There is no reason to doubt the historicity of this trip.
The geographical details are accurate and the best way to account for the accuracy is that Luke was the person who wrote Luke/Acts and was part of this particular journey by sea. The disciples they found at Tyre were telling Paul “through the Spirit” not to go into Jerusalem. Most of this class involves a discussion of the parallels between Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem to be rejected (in Luke) and Paul’s similar journey where he was warned that he would be arrested and bound in Jerusalem. We also discuss how Paul could be warned not to go there “through the Spirit” and also be fully committed to going.
I claim that there are parallels with Jesus’ journey, some of which will be covered in next week’s class. We also discuss how to handle apparent contradictions between God’s sovereign will and human choices. I clam that we need to read the text and look for our answers in Scripture rather than human tradition or theological postulations from church history. We want to understand Luke/Acts and learn what we can from the text itself. As Paul will continue on to Jerusalem the drama only intensifies.