Insights on Today's Reading
Acts 20:4-38 - Verse 7 gives what is one of the clearest statements why we practice meeting on Sundays for our weekly worship. This chapter also gives Paul's travels as he nears the end of his third missionary journey. Of particular note is Paul's message to the Ephesian elders of how he serve "the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials..." verse 19. Paul sought to give them "the whole counsel of God" verse 27.
Acts 21 - Several times Paul was given warnings that he would face trouble in Jerusalem, verses 4 and 10-12. But Paul was determined to go and even "die at Jerusalem" if necessary, verse 13. Paul gave the church at Jerusalem a detailed account of his travels. But in his attempt to show he still practiced acceptable Jewish tradition, he was attacked at the temple and was beaten until he was rescued by Roman soldiers, verse 32. Paul asked the commander for permission to speak to the people.
Acts 22 - Paul stood on a stairway and spoke to the people in Hebrew language which gave the audience the reason to be quiet and listen to him, verses 1,2. When he gave his conversion testimony he eventually spoke of the Lord calling him to go to the Gentiles, verses 17-21. At this word the people became enraged and sought to kill him. The commander had Paul arrested and threatened to beat him, verse 24, but Paul invoked his Roman citizenship, 25, to avoid the punishment. The soldiers brought Paul before the Jewish council, verse 30.
Acts 23 - At the council, Paul saw both Pharisees and Sadducees, and he stirred them up by speaking of the resurrection of Christ, which brought these two groups into conflict with each other. The commander feared Paul would be killed and so rescued him once again. The Lord appeared to him and assured him that he would go to Rome to "bear witness" there, verse 11. A plot was devised to kill Paul, verse 12, and Paul was rescued once again and brought to Caesarea, verses 23-33. (I've often noted that the 40 men who vowed to kill Paul and would not eat or drink anything until they did, verse 11, were faced with the dilemma that they would have to break their oath!)
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288