Paul’s Determination to Reach Jerusalem

Open Your Bible

Acts 21:1-36, Matthew 5:11-12, John 19:13-16

Crowds shouting accusations. Soldiers exerting their force. A violent crowd hurling insults. Calls for putting an innocent man to death. When we see Paul in Acts 21, the events feel pretty familiar, almost like we’ve been here before. The last time was when Jesus was accused and hung on a cross.

The thing about Paul is he had countless people in his life tell him not to go to Jerusalem before he went. It was other believers—a prophet, disciples, and his friends, all warning him not to do this thing that they feared would lead to his death.

And yet, Paul goes. He tells them that the issue is not what the people in Jerusalem will do to him. The important thing is what God wants to do through his obedience (Acts 21:12–13).

Paul says, “I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (v.13). He was committed to bringing the hope of Jesus to the Gentiles. When Paul goes into hostile territory with the hope of the gospel, it reminds me of what we’re all called to do in the first place.

If we consider ourselves to be Christians and followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That doesn’t mean just going where we’re comfortable, or where we’re well received. It’s a guarantee that we will face suffering and persecution because of our faith. If Jesus is our example, if we truly want to follow in His footsteps, then we are blessed when we’re persecuted and treated badly because of the boldness of our faith.

People may make false claims about us. There may be whispers or words of hate because of what we believe and whose we are. But our reward in heaven is greater than anything we can imagine here on earth.

Sometimes I need the reminder that this world is not our home. It’s not our final destination. We are headed for glory. And in the meantime, our job is not to be comfortable, happy, or loved by everyone. Our job is to share the hope of Christ. In some places, this will make us outcasts. Some people may look down on us or discredit us because of what we believe. That’s okay. We’re blessed.

God, help us to be more like Paul today. We pray for opportunities to give an answer for the hope that we have in You. Give us your strength and the boldness to live out our faith today, regardless of what the consequences might be. 

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38 thoughts on "Paul’s Determination to Reach Jerusalem"

  1. Sarah Morrison says:

    Yes!! Knowing we are going against culture by living by and in the Holy Spirit.

  2. Katie Rutledge says:

    Love this

  3. Skylar Hilton says:

    I absolutely loved this reading in Acts today! I think we all need to learn a lesson of Paul’s determination. The first lesson we need to learn is that we can only find bravery, perseverance, and determination in God.. we shouldn’t look to the world for those things.

    And I think we need to learn a lesson about when God is calling you to do something for Him.. you don’t ever stop trying to do whatever that is. When other people tell you no, you still do it anyway.. it’s about God.. not them. And I pray that we would all walk with God and profess the faith.. regardless of consequences. I used to be so obsessed with looking for other people to accept me…but now, I know that only God’s opinion matters.

    All of our sufferings are so worth it for Jesus!

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    After the emotionally draining day I have had, it’s so nice to know that this world is not our true home. This world will disappoint us in so many ways. It will never truly satisfy us. I pray that I would remember that my main goal in this life is to glorify Jesus, no matter the cost. I pray that I would live with more boldness in my life and rel we why I am here.

  5. Lisa Williams says:

    Inspiring and eye opening! Where we would receive a warning Paul is not deterred. He is encouraged to go and suffer even unto death for the cause of Christ. Amazing! Give your children the strength to persevere just as Paul did!

  6. Dorothy says:

    ERB, I think I mentioned before I have seizures but mine are under control right now. Mine started over 60 years ago when I was a year old, so I’ve been told. I was also told that my maternal grandmother wanted to hire an exorcist when she first heard about it. My grandmother was a learned and God fearing woman but didn’t know much about medicine at the time. My mother gave her information to read and those thoughts were put out of her head. At that time there weren’t many medications for seizures and being young they didn’t want to give me to much but they had to give me larger than usual doses to get me under control. As I grew up my medicine had to change because of my body changing. There are three times I remember specifically where I had a major problem with my seizures. The first one was when I was about 9 or 10 years old and I was running home to tell my mom something, I tripped on the stairs in front of the house (they were concrete) and next thing I knew I was on the couch in the family room, I don’t know how I got there but my mom said I had a seizure. They had to change my medicine after that. The next time was when I had my wisdom teeth out, I was about 21 or 22, my mom (she was quite a bit smaller than me) had to wrap her arms around me because I was sitting in a chair when I had the seizure. I was able to go lay down afterwards and the doctor said if I were to have any major surgery or procedure in the future to do it in the hospital and let them know. The last major seizure I had I was in status epilepticus and I was pregnant with my oldest son (six months along), I hadn’t been on medicine for a while because I hadn’t needed it and they were concerned what it would do. Well long story short, I have had to be on medicine since and yes it’s taken some time to find the right one because of side effects and effectiveness but it’s been a while since I have had even an inkling of a seizure of any sort, so hang in there I’m sure they will find the right medicine or combination of medicines with the Lord’s guidance and prayers. I’ll be praying for you. With God by your side you can over come anything.