Bible Insights

Paul’s Words Stir up the Crowd

The Jews React to Paul’s Message

The eighth sermon in the book of Acts: Acts 21:27-22:30 (specifically Acts 22:3-21), where Paul’s words stir up the crowd, all because they don’t like what he says.

Setting: Jerusalem, in the temple

Speaker: Paul

Audience: A mob and a few Roman soldiers

Preceding Events: Some Jews from Asia lie about Paul and stir up a mob.

Overall Theme: Paul shares the key points of his spiritual journey.

Scripture Quoted: none directly, though some of Paul’s story and the words spoken by Jesus are recorded in Acts 9:3-18.

Central Teaching: Jesus came for all people. (God called Paul to tell the Gentiles about Jesus.)

Subsequent Events: The riotous mob erupts again. Paul is temporarily taken into custody and then released.

Key Lesson: People can respond violently if they don’t like what you are saying, perhaps more so if you challenge their religious beliefs.

Though Paul did not directly incite a riot with his words, the people’s reaction did. They took offense with his message because it challenged their religious beliefs and practices.

Instead of having a civil discussion or walking away, they responded with physical force to attack the messenger. They would have killed Paul if not for the soldiers who rescued him from the out-of-control mod.

This post is from the series “Sermons in the book of Acts.” Read about sermon #7 or sermon #9.

Read more about the book of Acts in Tongues of Fire: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church from the Book of Acts, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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