27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)
30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.
The tension between Jews and Gentiles, particularly the Roman Empire, was growing. In less than ten years after this riot recorded here a full scale war would break out between Judea and the Roman Empire; at the center of that war would be the city of Jerusalem. It is the festival of Pentecost and Jews from all over the world once again would be in the city. Presumably some are from Ephesus and recognize Paul (who is a famous Jewish man) traveling with a Gentile friend from Ephesus. They assume that Paul has brought his Gentile friend into the part of the temple reserved for Jews only. It’s not true but Paul is known by his reputation, this famous Jewish teacher has been keeping company with Gentiles and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable according to God’s standards – some would call it grace (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for the nation of China. Pray for China’s leaders and for all those who are in authority. May they call on God for the wisdom to lead this country.