Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Acts 20-22
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
Paul Travels Through Macedonia and Greece
1. After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them and saying farewell, he left to go to Macedonia.
2. After he had gone through those regions and spoken many words of encouragement to the believers there, he came to Greece,
3. where he stayed for three months. Because the Jews had made a plot against him as he was intending to sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.
4. Paul was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, and Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.
5. These had gone on ahead and were waiting for us in Troas.
6. We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and within five days we came to the others in Troas, where we stayed for seven days.
7. On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul began to speak to the people, and because he intended to leave the next day, he extended his message until midnight.
8. (Now there were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.)
9. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, was sinking into a deep sleep while Paul continued to speak for a long time. Fast asleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead.
10. But Paul went down, threw himself on the young man, put his arms around him, and said, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive!”
11. Then Paul went back upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he talked with them a long time, until dawn. Then he left.
12. They took the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.
The Voyage to Miletus
13. We went on ahead to the ship and put out to sea for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. He himself was intending to go there by land.
14. When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went to Mitylene.
15. We set sail from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. The next day we approached Samos, and the day after that we arrived at Miletus.
16. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so as not to spend time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
17. From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him.
18. When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia,
19. serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots of the Jews.
20. You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house,
21. testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.
22. And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there,
23. except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me.
24. But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.
25. “And now I know that none of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom will see me again.
26. Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of you all.
27. For I did not hold back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God.
28. Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
29. I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30. Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them.
31. Therefore be alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.
32. And now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33. I have desired no one’s silver or gold or clothing.
34. You yourselves know that these hands of mine provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me.
35. By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36. When he had said these things, he knelt down with them all and prayed.
37. They all began to weep loudly, and hugged Paul and kissed him,
38. especially saddened by what he had said, that they were not going to see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem
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.
2. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went aboard, and put out to sea.
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.
4. After we located the disciples, we stayed there seven days. They repeatedly told Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.
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,
6. we said farewell to one another. Then we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes.
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.
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.
9. (He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.)
10. While we remained there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
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.’”
12. When we heard this, both we and the local people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
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.”
14. Because he could not be persuaded, we said no more except, “The Lord’s will be done.”
15. After these days we got ready and started up to Jerusalem.
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.
17. When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly.
18. The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there.
19. When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers of the law.
21. They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.
22. What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come.
23. So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow;
24. take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law.
25. But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.”
26. Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them.
27. When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from the province of Asia who had seen him in the temple area stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,
28. shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this sanctuary! Furthermore he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple and made this holy place ritually unclean!”
29. (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.)
30. The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, and immediately the doors were shut.
31. While they were trying to kill him, a report was sent up to the commanding officer of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
32. He immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to the crowd. When they saw the commanding officer and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33. Then the commanding officer came up and arrested him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; he then asked who he was and what he had done.
34. But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, and when the commanding officer was unable to find out the truth because of the disturbance, he ordered Paul to be brought into the barracks.
35. When he came to the steps, Paul had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob,
36. for a crowd of people followed them, screaming, “Away with him!”
37. As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commanding officer, “May I say something to you?” The officer replied, “Do you know Greek?
38. Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins’ into the wilderness some time ago?”
39. Paul answered, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Please allow me to speak to the people.”
40. When the commanding officer had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and gestured to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, he addressed them in Aramaic,
1. “Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense that I now make to you.”
2. (When they heard that he was addressing them in Aramaic, they became even quieter.) Then Paul said,
3. “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated with strictness under Gamaliel according to the law of our ancestors, and was zealous for God just as all of you are today.
4. I persecuted this Way even to the point of death, tying up both men and women and putting them in prison,
5. as both the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way to make arrests there and bring the prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6. As I was en route and near Damascus, about noon a very bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me.
7. Then I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8. I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’
9. Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me.
10. So I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything that you have been designated to do.’
11. Since I could not see because of the brilliance of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of those who were with me.
12. A man named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who live there,
13. came to me and stood beside me and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ And at that very moment I looked up and saw him.
14. Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has already chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear a command from his mouth,
15. because you will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.
16. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.’
17. When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance
18. and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’
19. I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you.
20. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’
21. Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
The Roman Commander Questions Paul
22. The crowd was listening to him until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Away with this man from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!”
23. While they were screaming and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust in the air,
24. the commanding officer ordered Paul to be brought back into the barracks. He told them to interrogate Paul by beating him with a lash so that he could find out the reason the crowd was shouting at Paul in this way.
25. When they had stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen without a proper trial?”
26. When the centurion heard this, he went to the commanding officer and reported it, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.”
27. So the commanding officer came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” He replied, “Yes.”
28. The commanding officer answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” “But I was even born a citizen,” Paul replied.
29. Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away from him, and the commanding officer was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had had him tied up.
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
30. The next day, because the commanding officer wanted to know the true reason Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council to assemble. He then brought Paul down and had him stand before them.