Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Just as Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem knowing that suffering awaited Him there, so Paul was “compelled by the Spirit” to go “to Jerusalem,” knowing “that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” (20:22-23) Just as those close to Jesus misunderstood God’s purposes and one even tried to rebuke Jesus, so Paul’s friends and ministry partners do that same in our text.
In Acts 21:1-17, Paul is pressing toward the goal. What was His goal? It was to finish the task that has been given him, but ultimately it was to know Christ. Paul’s desire to know Christ in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10-12) seems to be his driving ambition in our text this week.
Our text may also raise a number of questions for us. What role do spiritual gifts play in discerning God’s will for our lives? Should I expect my pastor or other leaders to have discernment for whether I should take a job in another city or go on the mission field? If God has called us out of the world to be his people joined and built together, why would he ever call some to move to other cities and disrupt this wonderful experience God has given us? Are these seemingly unrelated questions related to knowing Christ and following Him on the way?