Paul was quite a man and such an incredible believer. Acts 18:23-21:22 is an account of his third missionary journey. What a passion he had for sharing the gospel! So much can be learned from reading this account in Acts. In order to fully understand what happened in the city of Caesarea By the Sea we must delve into some background in the life of Paul.
Let’s start today’s study by reading Acts 18:22-23. You can see in verse 22 that he is saying his goodbyes and then heading to Antioch to leave on his last journey.
- What does verse 23 say Paul’s main goal was as he set out on the journey?
- As you go about your day-to-day life…what is your main goal?
- Do you determine each morning that as you go about your day you will strengthen the disciples?
- How could you be intentional about strengthening the disciples?
Read chapters 19-20. Those chapters give us the highlights of Paul’s last journey. Write down anything that stands out to you about Paul, the people he ministers to and his travels.
In Chapter 21 we see Paul landing in Tyre, immediately finding a group of disciples and staying with them for 7 days.
- What does verse 4 say that the disciples there warned him about?
- Does he decide to go or to stay?
After one more stop in Ptolemais, he sailed on to Caesarea By the Sea.
Read verses 8-15 of Chapter 21.
- Where does Paul stay?
- Who was Phillip? (See Acts 6:1-7)
- Who was Agabus? What did he tell Paul?
- What was the reaction of the people?
- What was Paul’s reaction? What did he say?
- After Paul’s decision was made, what was the reaction of the people?
Meditate on those verses today. If two different groups of people who loved you told you that danger was ahead and that if you went to a certain city to stand for Jesus Christ you would be endangering your life…
- What would you do?
- Are you as sold out to Jesus as Paul was?
- What about in your own city? Are you willing to stand for Jesus in your city? Your neighborhood? Even if it means being made fun of or left out of things?
- Are you willing to stand for Jesus even if it is not politically correct? Would you be silent or stand boldly for Him?
Sure enough, there was trouble in Jerusalem for Paul. Read verses 27-36 in chapter 21 to discover what happened to him.
- What does Paul say to the group when given the opportunity?
- Are you prepared to give your testimony even in front of a hostile crowd?
- When the tribune ordered him to be whipped, what is his response?
- What topic did Paul bring up that caused major dissension in the crowd?
- Where did the soldiers take Paul in the middle of all of the chaos?
Read 23:11. God always comes through. When we are facing extremely difficult circumstances we can be assured that God is going to intervene. Does God take him OUT of the rough circumstances? As you think about this verse personally, how does it apply to you when you face tough things in life?
Read verses 23:12-22.
- What plot is devised by the Jews?
- How does God spare Paul?
Read verses 23:23-35.
- Who was Paul sent to?
- Where was he sent to stay under guard? (We will see Herod’s Praetorium at Caesarea By the Sea on the first day we are in Israel!)
As we complete Part One of Caesarea by the Sea:
- Can you re-tell the story we have studied so far?
- What important principles do you want to remember from this study?
o Strengthening the disciples…are you willing?
o “What are you doing weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” Paul the Apostle Could you say the same? Are you willing to stand for Him no matter what?
o Are you willing to share your testimony of what Jesus Christ has done in and for you? Do you look for opportunities to share?
o Jesus, Himself, comes to reassure Paul. Notice that He does not take him OUT of the problem but assures him that he will be with him through the problem. (23:11) What does this say to you about where you are right now in your life or as you look at the future?