Paul's Persecution and Arrest in Jerusalem

Study Guide

In this dramatic passage, Paul deals with tension with the Gentile believers as he goes to Jerusalem, where he will be beaten and arrested. However, his deep sense of responsibility towards the Jews drives him to share the gospel even at great cost to himself. He is willing to be humble and vulnerable, creating space for God to work.
  1. Paul is committed to sharing the gospel to the Jews because he feels a deep sense of responsibility to them. Who in your life is on your conscience? To whom do you feel responsible to share the gospel? What steps do you need to take to be obedient in this area?

  2. When the Holy Spirit is at work, it often creates tension among believers. How is the Holy Spirit changing your life? In what ways has that created tension in your relationships? If this isn’t happening, why do you think that is?

  3. When we humble ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable to others, this opens us up to real risk or hurt. However, it also puts us in a position to see God act on our behalf. How have you seen this truth play out in your life? What are your greatest obstacles to being vulnerable with others?

Key Points
  • Before his conversion, Paul was a zealous Jew—a leader against Christianity. Now, he feels a deep sense of responsibility to share the gospel with the Jewish people.

  • In a short period of time, the gospel has put down deep roots. God has worked through Paul’s ministry to grow the church exponentially among both Jews and Gentiles.

  • The Holy Spirit is at work among the people—this is a cause of both power and tension, for the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity.

  • Unity is only maintained by humility. Those who are begging Paul not to go to Jerusalem must humble themselves, and so must Paul. They can have unity without perfectly understanding one another.

  • Humility for the sake of unity will lead to real vulnerability. However, this puts us in a position to see God work on our behalf.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Acts 21:1-36