Acts 20-23

Chapter 20
Paul's retinue is divided after the Ephesus riot, reuniting at Troas in a few months. Paul writes Romans meanwhile, on his way to Jerusalem for Pentecost. He raises Eutychus from death on the Lord's Day. He summons the Ephesian elders, charging them to shepherd the church, as he would not see them again - he was heading into danger in Jerusalem.

Chapter 21
The Spirit prophesies Paul will be bound in Jerusalem, but he goes on anyway. Paul pays for some Jews' ritual vow-keeping in the temple, as a sign that he doesn't teach Jews to forsake Torah. James gets his buy-in to their council letter (Acts 15). The trouble starts with unfounded accusations, as it often does. Like Jesus, Paul lays his life down before the Jews, who charge him wrongly, which spotlights his message before Jew and Gentile/Roman alike. Paul uses his Tarsus citizenship to get an audience with the Jews, through the Roman tribune.

Chapter 22
He tells his story, but they riot when he talks about going to the Gentiles with the Gospel.

Chapter 23
The Roman government gets Paul before the Sanhedrin to figure out what's going on. After a misstep with the high priest, Paul appeals to his Pharisee convictions - which he still holds, or he's lying - to divide the council instead of having all against him. Jesus guides him to appeal to Caesar, saying he will testify in Rome. This appears to have been Paul's strategy all along: to the Jews first in Jeruslaem (Acts 22), then to the Gentiles, when the Jews are hardened (Romans 1:16; 11:25). We find a microcosm of this in every city Paul comes to. The Jews plot to kill Paul. He hears of it through his nephew, and sends him to the tribune, who is apparently favorable to Paul, and inclined to believe him. The issue has gone beyond the tribune, so he hands Paul over to the governor Felix, who is in Caesarea.

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