Acts 21:1–14 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 4 And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. 5 When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed. 6 When we had taken our leave of one another, we boarded the ship, and they returned home.Acts 21:1-6
After praying with the Ephesian elders in Miletus, Paul and his companions began the journey back to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. Along the way they ported in Cos, Rhodes, Patara, and eventually in Tyre in Phoenicia. Finding disciples in Tyre, they stayed with them for a week, and were warned through the Spirit that trouble awaited Paul in Jerusalem. When Paul’s team went back to the ship to continue, they all knelt down on the shore and prayed before Paul’s departure.
7 And when we had finished our voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day. 8 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”Acts 21:7-14
12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
Paul continued his journey to Jerusalem, stopping in Ptolemais and staying in Caesarea for many days. Paul was approached again by a prophet, Agabus, warning him of the bondage that would await him in Jerusalem. His friends begged him not to go to Jerusalem, but he pleaded with them to stop, sharing that he was ready even to die in Jerusalem for the name of Christ. They relented and prayed for the Lord’s will to be done. This type of resolve is exemplary, admirable among characters in the Bible and even among individuals today doing work in the kingdom of God around the world. While some are afraid–or at least reluctant–to share the gospel with others, there are pioneers who go into hostile territory to proclaim the truth of God’s word to liberate the lost and dying. Lord, help us to regain that adventurous spirit again, and purpose to share the gospel no matter the cost. Warnings aside, charge into the place where God leads you, unafraid and strong!
Artwork from https://www.alittleperspective.com/acts-21-2016/ and Logos Bible Software Atlas.