In our study of Acts chapter twenty one, we continue to look at the end of Paul's third missionary journey and his arrival in Jerusalem. This chapter is inspiring in that we see that Paul, even though he knew he was facing tough times ahead, continued to listen and follow God's will for his life.
"After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo." NIV translation
We continue with the travel log as Paul gets closer to his ultimate destination of Jerusalem.
Phoenicia is what is known today as the country of Lebanon. We notice here that Paul didn't own a ship or really anything else as they sailed on a commercial ship to the port city of Tyre.
When Paul had accepted Christ, he gave up the things of this world to serve the Lord and that is a great example for us today. We have forgotten the fact that Jesus said that it would not be easy to follow Him and that many would give up everything to do so. We have to ask ourselves if we are ready to do the same.
"Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem." NIV translation
There are those that use this verse to say that Paul made a mistake and was out of the will of God in going to Jerusalem. Quite simply, they are wrong. The disciples in Tyre were listening to the Spirit but the Spirit was warning Paul (just as he had said in chapter 20), that he had to be prepared for the sacrifice that he would make. God had been preparing Paul for this and making sure that he knew what he was getting into. The same thing is happening in this verse. Paul is simply listening to God and following Him. His actions agree with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-48 and served to further the gospel. Paul was confident that he was in the will of God as he was able to say (at the end of his life) that he had finished the course set before him.