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                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Arrest In Jerusalem (21:27-40)


1. As Paul was traveling to Jerusalem nearing the end of his third
   a.  He knew that chains and tribulation awaited him - Ac 20:22-23
   b. That the Jews would deliver him to the Gentiles - Ac 21:10-11

2. Even so, he arrived at Jerusalem...
   a. With the contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem - Ro
      15:25-27; cf. 1Co 16:1-4
   b. Warmly greeted by the brethren, the elders, and James - Ac 21:17-19
   c. Agreeing to reach out to Jewish Christians who had been misinformed
      - Ac 21:20-26

[It was in the course of carrying out the advice of James and the elders
in Jerusalem that the chains and tribulations foretold began to be 
fulfilled with...] 


      1. Prompted by Jews from Asia who saw Paul in the temple - Ac 21:27
         a. Diaspora Jews were often known for their great zeal for the 
         b. Paul had already experienced trials from Jews in Asia - cf.
            Ac 20:19
      2. Making false accusations against him - Ac 21:28-29
         a. Similar to charges made Diaspora Jews against Stephen - Ac
         b. But also accusing Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple
            (a capital offense)
      3. Disturbing the crowd who seized Paul and dragged him out of the
         temple - Ac 21:30
         a. Either the temple itself, the court of men, or the court of
         b. Out into the court of the Gentiles

      1. As the crowd sought to kill Paul, the Roman commander received
         word - Ac 21:31
         a. On the east side of the temple was the Antonia Fortress,
            named after Mark Anthony
         b. Housing Roman soldiers who could quickly assist temple police
            with crowd control
      2. The commander sent soldiers that stopped the crowd from beating
         Paul - Ac 21:32
         a. At least two centurions and their contingents
         b. That would be at least 200 soldiers
      3. The commander bound Paul, sought to determine his identify, what
         he had done - Ac 21:33
         a. Note that Paul was bound with two chains (likely for hands 
            and feet)
         b. Thus fulfilling the prophecy of Agabus - cf. Ac 21:10-11          
      4. Unable to ascertain the truth, he commanded Paul to be taken to
         the barracks - Ac 21:34
         a. The commander wanted to know who Paul was and what he had 
         b. But the crowd did not even agree why Paul was worthy of death
      5. Paul had to be carried up the stairs due to the violence of the
         mob - Ac 21:35
         a. Remember that Paul had already been beaten by the mob - cf.
            Ac 21:32
         b. Together with hustle and bustle of the mob, Paul would need
      6. The mob cried out "Away with him!" - Ac 21:36
         a. So the crowd called out when it was Jesus before Pilate - cf.
            Jn 19:15
         b. I can't help but wonder what Paul thought, especially if then
            he had part of the crowd

      1. Paul asked to speak with the Roman commander - Ac 21:37
         a. Paul spoke in educated Greek which surprised the commander
         b. Paul also spoke with great politeness, also surprising given
            the circumstances
      2. The commander assumed Paul to be an Egyptian insurrectionist 
         - Ac 21:38
         a. Three years before, an Egyptian led a large band of assassins
            out to Mt. Olivet
         b. He predicted the city walls would fall flat; Felix sent 
            troops to disperse them
      3. Identifying himself as a Jew from Tarsus, Paul asked to speak to
         the people - Ac 21:39
         a. Tarsus in Cilicia was not an insignificant city
         b. Again, Paul's request to speak is made with politeness
      4. Granted permission, from the stairs Paul begins to speak - Ac
         a. Motion with his hands, silencing the people
         b. Speaking to them in Hebrew (or Aramaic)

[Paul's speech before the mob continues into the next chapter which we
hope to examine in our next lesson.  But in reflecting on the events we
have just studied, allow me to offer some...]


      1. Were made by Jews from Asia - Ac 21:27
         a. Who had possibly clashed with Paul in Ephesus - cf. Ac 20:19
         b. Who likely were biased against Paul and his doctrine - cf. Ac
      2. Who misrepresented what Paul actually taught - Ac 21:28
         a. That he taught against the Jewish people, the Law of Moses,
            and the temple
         b. When he taught Jesus was Israel's hope and fulfillment - cf.
            Ro 9:1-5; 10:1-4
      3. Were false, based on faulty assumptions - Ac 21:29
         a. Paul had been seen in the city with Trophimus the Ephesian
         b. His accusers assumed that Paul brought Trophimus (a Gentile)
            into the temple  
      -- Those with bias and an agenda often resort to half-truths and 
         mistruths to mislead and manipulate others

      1. The reaction of the people is a perfect example of mob mentality
         a. Also known as herd mentality, or the bandwagon effect
         b. When people are influenced by their peers, or what they see
            others doing
         c. Especially in large gatherings, such as political rallies, 
            concerts, sporting events
         d. They are swayed by reasoning, "if many believe so, it is so" 
         e. Also known as "appeal to the people" (argumentum ad populum)
      2. Some well known examples of mob mentality
         a. The French Revolution's Reign of Terror
         b. Hitler's rise to power and the Holocaust
         c. Popular urban legends spread via the Internet
      -- People are easily swayed when they are in large crowds, or
         give credence to the idea that the majority is always right

      1. Later identified as Claudius Lysius - cf. Ac 23:26
      2. In the midst of the turmoil, he determined to know the truth
         - Ac 21:33
      3. He was willing to give up first impressions upon learning the
         truth - Ac 21:37-39
      4. He was willing to let Paul tell his side of the story - Ac 21:40
      -- Like Cornelius (Ac 10:33), Claudius was willing to listen before
         passing judgment


1. Paul's arrest in Jerusalem shows people at their worst, and at their 
   a. The worst - allowing religious prejudice and mob mentality to
      attack the innocent
   b. The best - allowing search for truth to change one's opinion and 
      open to more information

2. How can we avoid mob mentality, being misled and manipulated by those
   with bias...?
   a. Be more like the Jews of Berea than the Jews from Asia - Ac 17:11
   b. Seek to understand what others believe, or are saying
   c. Make truth your priority, think for yourself, don't just follow the
   d. Remember what happened in the flood, in the wilderness, and in the

The likelihood is that the majority is always wrong, for as Jesus said...

   "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the
   way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
   Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to
   life, and there are few who find it." - Mt 7:13-14
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