Bible Discussion — Acts 21-22

October 29, 2008, 11:26 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com moves on to the next two chapters of Acts.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10
Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10
11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
Paul is the epitome of “all things to all people” in this section. He bows to pressure from James and the elders to partake in some sort of Nazarite vow; he speaks Greek to the captain who rescues him and Hebrew to the crowd of Jews who demand his head; he throws around his Roman citizenship and knowledge of Roman law when they bind him and try to scourge him, uncondemned. He could be quite the diplomat in a pinch.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
Paul’s defense was a reiteration of his testimony, and unsurprisingly, he didn’t get much farther than telling the Jews how he always knew the Jews wouldn’t listen to him.

Connie:
The comment from the guard leading Paul to prison, asking him if he was the Egyptian who led a rebellion and escaped to the desert with 4,000 assassins. Really? How did I miss that?

David:
Paul publicly confesses his complicity in the murder of Stephen in 22:20 — and he was bound with “thongs” in 22:25 (NKJV).

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Connie: 4000 Assassins
Josh: Mob Justice
Steve: Mnason; A Citizen
David: The Elders

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
David:
In 22:24 they decided to “examine [Paul] by scourging.” While studying ancient Rome, I learned that this was acceptable according to their Law (although not for citizens) as a legitimate means of questioning, and torturing, a suspect to obtain a confession. It was used against Jesus, and even then, it was referred to as “The Inquisition.”

How sad that some centuries later, the Church would take it up as a legitimate means to force heresy confessions from members of Christ\’s own body, simply because they did not agree with a church corrupted by pagan Roman influences.

Josh:
The disciples’ attempt to dissuade Paul from returning to Jerusalem reminds me of Emerson asking Thoreau why he was in jail — and Thoreau, in return, asking Emerson why he was not.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Connie:
This is a real example of how God leads us somewhere, gives us the Grace to go through it, and keeps us with His mercy, even when things look bleakest, as we fulfill His will. I’m hoping this election will have similar aspects for the McCain/Palin ticket.

David:
Our lives are not ours to live as we wish. Paul and the others knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was leading him into a bad situation — yet they all said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE?:
Connie:
He shows up again and again by name, in Paul’s testimony.

David:
Leading Paul to Rome.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
When Paul recounted his conversion in an unsuccessful attempt to acquit himself by impressing upon the people the life-changing power of God, I wonder if he thought, “I guess you had to be there.”

Connie:
Why did the temple doors shut as soon as they took Paul? Were they instructed not to help him?

Also, Paul couldn’t function and had to be carried away by soldiers after the “violence” bestowed upon him by the mob, but a few minutes later he addressed the crowd on those same stairs he couldn’t walk up. Wow.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Connie:
21:14 — “So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’ ”

Josh; Steve:
21:13 — “Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ ”

David:
22:7 — “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ ”

 
PORTION YOU’D MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
David:
Why did God warn Paul so many times about what was coming? Was it a test?

Connie:
Why did God have that man prophesy to Paul about his upcoming trials? Paul seemed to already know, and even rebuked the guy in a way. His own friends tried to talk him out of going as well. What was the point? Maybe it wasn’t God who sent him or was influencing the disciples?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY/GENERAL RESPONSE:
Connie:
How often do we give people advice they want to hear instead of what they need to hear? We need to be very careful if we say, “Thus sayeth the Lord…” Paul differentiated in his writings what were his own thoughts, and what God was inspiring him to share.

David:
Don\’t worry about impressing people. If they really want to find a problem with you, they will.

Josh:
A very strange justice system. If you’re being assaulted by a mob for no discernible reason, you get arrested. If you are then unable to convince the people who were just beating you that you\’re cool, the authorities will flog you. But you can make the whole thing go away just by claiming to be Roman. I\’m sure Paul was glad he answered to a higher authority.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
Being born in Tarsus, a colony of Rome, gave Paul his Roman citizenship. It also gave him the right to appeal to Caesar for a hearing in Rome when he found out that the Jews planned to kill him.


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