What To Do In A Tight Spot
In order to understand what we are reading in the 22nd chapter we have to tie it with what has previously been said in chapter 21. The apostle Paul was on his way to Jerusalem at the completion of his third missionary journey. There were warnings along the way that bonds awaited him there, but Paul had a deep conviction in the heart that the will of God for his life at that time was to go to the city of Jerusalem. Just exactly what had been predicted took place. Paul came to Jerusalem. He gave the report of the marvelous conversion of the Gentiles. The leaders of the Jerusalem church rejoiced in the report of their salvation. Then they took up a matter with Paul that was a matter of conflict and trouble among Jewish believers.
There was a strong segment of people in the Jerusalem church who believed that though you came to know Christ as your Saviour by faith, plus nothing and minus nothing that it was Incumbent upon all of those who were Jewish believers to maintain the keeping of the mosaic law. So, there was a great deal of conflict and controversy about this and the word was out that Paul was teaching people that they didn't have to obey the law and keep the Old Testament ceremonies and ordinances even after they had been converted to the Lord. So, the leaders of the church of Jerusalem said, "Paul, we want to do this. There is a group of men here who have avowed, who have a purification ceremony that they need to participate in. What we want you to do is to pay all of the expenses involved, go through this ceremony with them in order to illustrate to the Jews that you are still a good orthodox, law-keeping Jew."
Well Paul wanted to be conciliatory to the brethren in Jerusalem. It was his desire to avoid, if possible, all conflict and all difficulty. So, Paul agreed to do what the leaders asked him to do. It is an open debate whether Paul was right or wrong in this matter. Some of you studied ...
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