What does Acts 21:13 mean?
ESV: Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
NIV: Then Paul answered, 'Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'
NASB: Then Paul replied, 'What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'
CSB: Then Paul replied, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."
NLT: But he said, 'Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.'
KJV: Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
NKJV: 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.”
Verse Commentary:
Paul is in Caesarea Maritima on the coast of Judea. He is on his way to Jerusalem. For several months, the Holy Spirit has been warning him and others that when he arrives in Jerusalem he will be imprisoned and afflicted (Act 20:22–23). Fellow Jesus-followers in Tyre and Caesarea have begged him not to go to Jerusalem (21:4, 12). This is his response.

In an earlier letter to the church in Corinth, Paul iterated the hardships he had already endured:
…far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23–28).
Before long, Paul will again be beaten, survive a storm and another shipwreck, and be bitten by a viper (Acts 21:32; 27:13–44; 28:3–5). Eventually, he will be martyred. To the Romans, Paul will write, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18). He will suffer all things for Christ because he knows nothing can separate him from Christ (Romans 8:31–39).
Verse Context:
Acts 21:7–16 records Paul and his companions stopping in Caesarea Maritima. They are there briefly with the evangelist Philip before finally arriving in Jerusalem. For months, now, the Holy Spirit has warned Paul that when he reaches Jerusalem, he will be imprisoned and afflicted (Acts 20:22–23). The church in Tyre tried to stop him from going; the church in Caesarea will beg him. Paul reorients their concerns: Jesus comes first and if Jesus wants him to be imprisoned, he will serve his Savior in prison. The Holy Spirit's influence is meant to prepare Paul, not discourage him.
Chapter Summary:
In Acts 21, Paul returns to Judea from his third missionary journey and promptly gets arrested. He begins by visiting Philip in Caesarea Maritima. Church elders in Jerusalem ask Paul to help men fulfill a Nazirite vow, to dispel rumors he has apostatized his Jewishness. While doing so, Ephesian Jews accuse Paul of bringing one of his Gentile Ephesian companions into the temple. The Roman military tribune keeps the enraged crowd from tearing Paul limb from limb by arresting him.
Chapter Context:
Acts 21 fulfills the fears of many of Paul's friends. Throughout the last part of his third missionary journey the Holy Spirit has been telling him he will be arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 20:23–25). When Paul reacts to dire personal prophecy, the Jesus-followers in Caesarea Maritima try to stop him from going on (Acts 21:8–14). Through a complicated trail of rumors, lies, and wrong assumptions, things go according to the Holy Spirit's foreknowledge and Roman soldiers arrest Paul. He will face the next 5 years in custody in Caesarea and Rome, but he will spread Jesus' story the entire time (Acts 22—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/28/2024 6:44:53 PM
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