Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Acts and Mission 86

posted by Scot McKnight

AqueductCaes.jpgThere’s really no other way to say this than to say that missional work, especially if it is a church-planting missional ministry like Paul’s, involves travel. Part of Paul’s travel was a sense of homeboundedness toward Jerusalem and a sense of accountability in Jerusalem and a sense of wanting the support of Jerusalem’s leaders.

But Paul’s trips involved a high-radar sensitivity to the Spirit’s guidance. But alongside Paul’s own discernment of the Spirit is the discernment of others, and the others were all warning Paul of what he was about to get into if he went to Jerusalem.
Here’s yet another theme characteristic of missional work: determination. Notice what follows:
Paul seemed to agree with all those Spirit-prompted warnings that he would risk persecution in Jerusalem — and he surely heard their pleas not to go — but he was determined, and as he put it, willing to die in Jerusalem (and this is part of his imitation of Christ theme).
Paul is determined; Paul gets in the boat and eventually lands in Caesarea, and the picture above is of the aqueduct there, and then moves on to Jerusalem.


21:1 After we tore ourselves away from them, we put out to sea, and sailing a straight course, we came to Cos, on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 21:2We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went aboard, and put out to sea. 21:3 After we sighted Cyprus and left it behind on our port side, we sailed on to Syria and put in at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located the disciples, we stayed there seven days. They repeatedly told Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. 21:5 When our time was over, we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us outside of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, 21:6 we said farewell to one another. Then we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais, and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.)

21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 21:11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it, and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 21:12When we heard this, both we and the local people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, we said no more except, “The Lord’s will be done.”

21:15 After these days we got ready and started up to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea came along with us too, and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, with whom we were to stay. 21:17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 



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Chris Chancey

posted February 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm


Determination is a great word for it. Working at a church plant, New Denver Church, that has been the most sought after virtue in our missional approach to the community of Denver. Thanks for chatting with us today Dr. McKnight and sharing some your wisdom. We look forward to your visit!



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