February 14, 2019: SOAP #3360:   Leviticus 23-24; Psalm 24; Acts 21 Scripture:  Acts (NIV) 21:23 [Jerusalem church leaders to Paul] so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have […]

February 14, 2019: SOAP #3360:   Leviticus 23-24; Psalm 24; Acts 21

Scripture:  Acts (NIV) 21:23 [Jerusalem church leaders to Paul] so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.

Observation:   Paul takes the advice of the church leaders to openly follow the law, the law which he clearly declared could not bring righteousness.   He did it to prove that he, a Jew, was continuing to live as a Jew.

I wonder, is this a parallel to Satan's temptation to Jesus to prove He was God by throwing himself off the temple?   This would force the angels to protect him, thus proving himself to be God.

It is interesting to me to note that it was during the proving of his Jewishness that he was accused of breaking the Jewish law, arrested and eventually taken to Rome.

Application:  My opinion is that Paul should not have followed their advice.   But clearly God used this situation.   First, it was while Paul was in prison that he wrote the letter we have in our New Testament.   Second, God used the Roman government to fulfill his word to Paul that he would testify before kings.   (Acts 9:15)    Rome even provided transportation for Paul.

Prayer:    Holy Spirit, I do not want to make mistakes, but it is comforting to know that you can work through anything, even my mistakes, to accomplish your will for my life.   Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!