Acts 21:15-30

Dec 8, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment

15 ¶ After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem.

16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge.

Mnason is likely from island of Cyprus, Pauls first missionary journey (acts 13) who moved to live in Jerusalem
He could also be an early convert from church in Jerusalem

some suggest he may be a convert from Pentecost (acts 2) (but Cyprus is not listed among the countries

17 ¶ After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.

18 And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.

note that James is leading, not Peter.

In fact, His name is not really James, it’s Jacob

Ιάκωβον = Jacob occurs 38 times in NT translated as James (every time is Jacob)

The consensus is that the name goes from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to French and finally to English, and it is the succession of changes that account for the changes. One person wrote: Yaʻaqov (Hebrew) → Iacobus (Greek) → Iacomus (Latin) → Jammes (Old French) → James (English).



note that this is James (really called Jacob), half brother of Jesus, not brother of John who was beheaded in Acts 12:17

*half brother of Jesus (Gal 1:18-19) 

brother of John (Matt 4:21) son of Zebedee

brother of Jude (Matt 10:3) son of Alphaeus

can’t be brother of John

Acts 12:1-3

Gal. 1:15-19

19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20 And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;

believers who are zealous for the law

(still not letting go of law/traditions)

21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.

simply not true (circumcision not REQUIRED for salvation)

22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.

23 “Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;

24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.

james (jacob) wants Paul to participate in the end phase of the 30 day Nazarite Vow.

In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite is one who voluntarily took a vow described in Numbers 6:1–21. “Nazarite” comes from the Hebrew word נזיר nazir meaning “consecrated” or “separated”. This vow required the person to: Abstain from all alcohol derived from grapes.

Number 6:1-21

Num. 6:1 ¶ Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Num. 6:2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD,

Num. 6:3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes.

Num. 6:4 ‘All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin.

Num. 6:5 ¶ ‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.

Num. 6:6 ¶ ‘All the days of his separation to the LORD he shall not go near to a dead person.

Num. 6:7 ‘He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.

Num. 6:8 ‘All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.

Num. 6:9 ¶ ‘But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day.

Num. 6:10 ‘Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting.

Num. 6:11 ‘The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head,

Num. 6:12 and shall dedicate to the LORD his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled.

Num. 6:13 ¶ ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting.

Num. 6:14 ‘He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering,

Num. 6:15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering.

Num. 6:16 ‘Then the priest shall present them before the LORD and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.

Num. 6:17 ‘He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering.

Num. 6:18 ‘The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.

Num. 6:19 ‘The priest shall take the ram’s shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair.

Num. 6:20 ‘Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.’

Num. 6:21 ¶ “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation.”

25 “But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”

reference to Acts 15:21, 29

26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.

27 ¶ When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,

28 crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”

29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

30 Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.

Paul will be arrested and later brought to Rome 

This is not that bad 

He is protected by Roman Guards while he writes his Epistles and teaches , can have visitors, free room and board , Rome pays his passage to Rome 

why did Paul go along with this ?

1Cor. 6:12 

1Cor. 8:1-13

1Cor. 9:19-23

1Cor. 10:23

Paul is removing stumbling blocks (without compromising his holiness)

Is meeting people on their own level or “ground” a compromise ?

what was a common objection to Jesus (that implied He was not as sinless as He needed to be)?
(he eats and drinks with sinners)

to what extent can we get down to someone’s level to reach them before we begin to compromise ourselves ?

We must first abstain from the idol of man’s opinion to be free to focus entirely on God’s opinion of us before we can start discerning bridge building from compromise

Mark 2:16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

Luke 5:30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”

man’s idea of unclean is often far different from God’s idea.

Isolation is the common tool of men to promote holiness

(God’s idea of holiness is always in the context of relationship)

We cannot be salt of the earth if we keep ourselves safe in the salt shaker.

churchianity is clean, ministry is dirty


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