Acts 21 and 22 sees Paul set off on his mission, after he was warned that he would be bound, beaten and possibly killed. Paul decides to go anyway. Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important to him than his own life even is.
Paul then gets warned again by some women who prophesied that he would be bound and beaten in Jerusalem. Once again Paul decides to go anyway. As predicted, he starts off by upsetting some people who take him outside and start beating him. When the soldiers arrived on the scene, they stopped beating Paul, and the soldiers took him away. It was good for Paul, as the people planned to kill him. Paul then told the commander that he was a Jew, so the commander allowed him to address the crowds.
Paul goes on to tell the crowds what had happened to him on his travels, to which the crowd listened intently. At least until Paul mentioned that God had also sent him to the Gentiles. This really upset the Jews as they didn’t hold the Gentiles in high regard, especially when it came to God’s anointing. This caused them to get angry again and call for Paul to be beaten again. This time, Paul asked the Roman soldiers if they were allowed to beat an uncondemned Roman (knowing full well that they weren’t allowed to). The soldier was shocked to learn that Paul was a Roman, and it saved him from a beating.
When Paul then faces the council, his story causes a split amongst the members. Some believing that Paul should be put to death and others believing that he was of God, and should be left alone. This is what the first group decided to do. And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.” This is what I believe was the thorn in Paul’s side. These kind people who followed him around trying to kill him. Persecution. Not an eye illness.
The Romans get wind of this plan to kill Paul, so they send soldiers to get him and take him to Antipatris. This is done effectively, so Paul eventually ends up in Herod’s Praetorium, awaiting his trial.
I know that I have covered that section very quickly, but that leaves us with Paul in a bit of a predicament, awaiting trial. The point of this is to show you that Paul knew what he was getting into, and he chose to go anyway. Now we can question his intelligence, and his strategy, but we can’t question his commitment to what God had called him to. What has God called you to, and how committed are you to it? This is the question that I am asking myself.
Think about it. Make the right decisions.