Paul’s Powerful Pilgrimage

St. Paul’s Island. (Not sure where.) There is one in Alaska, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Malta. Photo credit goes to user JanneG.

[Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty]

Understanding that we must learn to rule over our sin nature (our own spirit), and depend on God in our afflictions will make us more than conquerors, but a person who doesn’t control themselves will have no defense. Paul, an Apostle for Christ  accepted his dependence on God and He learned (emphasis on learned) that it was best to be meek.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Proverbs 25:28

When we learn to rule over sin, Christ’s power will rest on us.  We WILL be used by God, and He WILL uphold the righteous. (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 37:17)

God will Provide 

If we’re willing, God will provide the opportunity to be useful for Him. However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t face hardships and afflictions.

Nevertheless, not even a prophets warning, that going to Jerusalem would spell trouble for Paul, could deter him from his mission to share Christ.  (Acts 21:10) 

“When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 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.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Acts 21:12-13

This devoted and determined man of God did go to Jerusalem.  He also faced an angry mob who tried to kill him. (Acts 21:27-36) However, even as Paul was being carried away to prison he was bold enough to ask if he could speak to the people. (Acts 21:37-40) Amazingly, he was given permission to speak to the crowd! We really do have to ask to receive.

Paul Gives His Testimony

So Paul spoke to those who opposed him. When they heard him speak in Aramaic they became quiet. He told them who he was, what he’d done, and what God had spoken to him.  The crowd listened to him until he spoke of being sent to the gentiles. Then they became angry, again. (Acts 22:1-22)

Why did this upset the Jews?

  1. The Jews believed that they were saved through adherence to the law, but Paul preached forgiveness through grace.
  1. Paul implied that the gentiles would be easier to reach for God.  His speech suggested that the Jews were hardened. 

Pride Riles up the Crowd

As the crowd began shouting and flinging off their cloaks, the commander of the Roman troops ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks for interrogation.  Then Paul was to be flogged in order to find out why the people were reacting to him like this. 

Paul wisely continues to speak up…

Because he was a Roman citizen, Paul informed them that it was illegal for them to beat a Roman citizen who hadn’t even been found guilty. The centurion immediately reported this to his commander who questioned Paul. (Acts 22:22-28)

The Truth Sets Paul Free

Upon hearing the truth, the investigation is immediately withdrawn, and the commander is alarmed that he’d put a Roman citizen in chains. Because the commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused, Paul was released the next day. The chief priests and the members of the Sanhedrin (a Jewish council appointed as a tribunal) were then ordered to assemble.  Paul is brought before the assembly (Acts 22:29-30) However, Paul also makes a mistake. 

Paul Doesn’t Control His Anger

Paul’s an honest and God fearing man, but his boldness and likely a strong sense of justice gets the better of him.  As he stands before the council he says, My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” The high priest obviously doesn’t appreciate this remark so he orders those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.  Apparently, this angered Paul enough to get a rise out of him and He reacts with these words: “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” (Acts 23:1-3) Paul was right, but he didn’t think before he spoke.

Paul Breaks The Law

Paul’s rebuke and prediction was fair, but In his anger, he slipped and reacted far too quickly.  What he didn’t realize was that he had just insulted the high priest. Paul knew that the law of God requires respect for those in positions of authority, so when he’s made aware of his mistake, he quickly humbles himself again.

“Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 23:5-6)

This last remark causes a dispute that divides the council. Why?

The Sadducees believed that there was no resurrection. They also believed that there were neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believed all of these things. Thus the rumble…

Some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees, argued vigorously, defending Paul. The dispute became so violent that the commander, out of fear that Paul would be torn to pieces, ordered the troops to take Paul back to the barracks. (Acts 23:7-10)

Paul’s Admission 

Paul is one our most inspirational spiritual leaders. He wasn’t perfect, but he had passion. He implimented self-control and restraint. When emotions got the better of him, and he made mistakes, he fixed them and admitted his failings. He didn’t need his ego to be stroked. Pride wasn’t what fueled his actions. It was his love for Christ and his love for the church that motivated him. Sometimes people do it for the wrong reasons… and with the wrong motivation. Usually it’s personal gain. (Philipians 1:1-17-18)

Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! Whatever anyone else dares to boast about–I am speaking as a fool–I also dare to boast about.

2 Corinthians 11:18-21

God uses the Weak, Meek and the Willing 

Not only does God use the weak, meek and willing, but to those who are faithful with the smaller things He trusts with more. (Matthew 25:23)

“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Acts 23:11

Because Paul was a willing servant, God used him in powerful ways, but not without his troubles: five times he received 39 lashes from the Jewish leaders; three times he was beaten with rods; once he was pelted with stones; three times he was shipwrecked. He also spent a night and a day in open sea; he was constantly on the move; he was in danger from rivers, bandits, fellow Jews, and gentiles; he was in danger in the city, in the country, and he was in danger from false believers; he often labored and toiled and went without sleep; he knew hunger and thirst, and he he had been cold and naked. If that wasn’t enough, Paul was put in prison; he escaped a plot to kill him, and was put on trial; he was bit by a viper, but, hey, he shook it off, and lived. Nobody I know of (next to Jesus) was more sincere and loyal to his calling, no matter what. Wow… quite the adventures.

The Powerful Things That Paul Accomplished

Paul had many opportunities to share his testimony and witness for Christ; He healed people; he proclaimed the truth and taught about Christ, he performed signs and miracles; he won a large number of disciples for Christ, he strengthened churches, he vigorously debated and proved that Jesus was the Messiah; he taught about the Holy Spirit to people who’d never heard of the Holy Spirit, He placed his hands on people and they spoke in tongues; He rid people of evil spirits; He caused people to confess their sins; he caused those who performed sorcery to burn their scrolls publicly; and there’s likely more that I haven’t touched on. 

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Proverbs 16:32

12 thoughts on “Paul’s Powerful Pilgrimage

  1. This is a very in-depth and insightful post. I cringe to think about all that Paul went through. Yet he didn’t allow it to stop him and he accomplished so much for the Kingdom of God. We can learn a lot from his perseverance.


    1. Absolutely we can! I’m thankful for these strong examples when I need the strength to carry on. Jesus, of course, is our strongest example of perseverance for the Kingdom of God.,

      “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

      But Paul is one of our greatest examples of what a changed man can do.

      “Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature.” (Ephesians 4:23 -24)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul had powerful pilgrimages traveling many miles spreading the gospel throughout the Roman empire. The story of Paul highlights God’s forgiveness and how Jesus can change and direct our lives. Paul’s letters found in the New Testament are still influencing Christian life.
    A great synopsis on Paul thanks, Tina! 💗💐✨🌺


    1. He did. Yes, the story of Paul most definitely highlights God’s forgiveness. Once against Christ, even persecuting Him, Paul (known then as Saul) was made a new man through Jesus and given a new name. Paul cared for Jesus followers, even discipling new ones. Wow… if that isn’t a redemption story I don’t know what is. It’s an inspiring and encouraging one forsure. 🙂💗🌺🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is amazing what God did through Paul and like you said he was willing.
    In that instance when he allows his emotions to rule his words is something I think we can all relate to but he recognises it immediately and corrects himself.
    A good lesson for us all.
    Thanks Tina 🤗🌺

    Liked by 1 person

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