“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus 

“Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem”, Acts 21:17) And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.  18) And the day following Paul went in with us unto James, and all the Elders were present.  Acts 15:13; Galatians 1:19; James 1;1.  19) And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.  Romans 15:18; Colossians 1:28, 29.  20) And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law;  21) And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  Galatians 5:1.  22) What is it therefore?  the multitude must needs come together:  for they will hear that thou art come.  23) Do therefore this that we say to thee:  We have four men which have a vow on them;  24) Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads:  and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  1Corinthian 9:20.  25) As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood and from strangled, and from fornication.  Genesis 9:4; Hebrews 13:4.  26) Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

John Gill’s Bible Exposition –  v18, Paul went in with us to James; not the son of Zebedee and brother of John, for he was killed by Herod some years ago; but James the son of Alphaeus, and (half) brother of our Lord, who presided over this church; it seems there were no other Apostles now at Jerusalem, but they were all dispersed abroad that were living, preaching the Gospel in the several parts of the world.  and all the elders were present: by whom are meant, not the ancient private members of the church, but the ministers of the Word in this church: who hearing of the coming of the Apostle, and of his visit to James, assembled together to see him, and converse with him. 

Quest Study Bible – v21, 24, Why did Jewish Believers still follow Old Testament customs?  They didn’t shed their cultural practices when they followed Christ.  Looking to the law, then, to order their lives would have been natural, not just to confirm it’s fulfillment in Christ but to structure society as well.  Their Jewish customs were not quickly dismissed.  v24, What did purification involve?  Somehow those who made a Nazirite vow, a self-imposed discipline for special service to God, had defiled their pledge.  To correct it, they had to “purify” themselves.   This meant waiting seven days, then shaving their heads on the seventh and making offerings–two doves (or pigeons) and a male lamb for each–on day eight.  Other sacrifices were required at the conclusion of their Nazirite vows:  both a male and female lamb, a ram and a grain and drink offering (Numbers 6).  v26, Why did Paul revert to an Old Testament ritual?  Paul’s behavior illustrates poignantly one of his ministry’s main thrusts:  he would do anything, be anything (Christ like), to win people to Christ (Galatians 1:10).  Here that meant accommodating Jewish culture (1Corinthians 9:20).  He also hoped to unite Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v21-25, James and the Elders of the church at Jerusalem asked Paul to gratify the believing Jews, by some compliance with the ceremonial law.  The religion Paul preached, tended not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.  He preached Christ, repentance and faith; in which we are to make great use of the law.  Many had not due regard for the most Eminent Minister that ever lived.  Nor the excellence of His Character, nor the success with which God blessed His labours, could gain their esteem and affection, because they thought He did not render like themselves respect to ceremonial observances. 

More to come and God Bless You.


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