- Acts 21:16-20
- Acts 21:16 (KJB)
- There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and
brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should
- Some of the disciples had gone with Paul on his journey to Jerusalem.
There was a disciple named Mnason, who was visiting Caesarea but was from
Cyprus. His name means “a diligent seeker.” He must have owned a house west
of Jerusalem or maybe within the city itself because they had stayed
overnight at his home. Now the phrase “an old disciple” does not necessarily
mean he was old in age. The Greek word seems to indicate that he had been a
disciple for quite a number of years, maybe going back as far as when the
Lord was still on earth which would have been about 30 years ago or he could
have been a convert of Peter on the day of Pentecost. It does not really
matter because here he is showing himself faithful to the Apostle Paul on
his last trip to Jerusalem. One need not have a great big ministry but one
just needs to be faithful in his daily walk and the Lord will use a faithful
Christian. This is the only time he is mentioned in the New Testament but
God saw him faithful and he is now in the pages of eternal Scripture.
- Acts 21:17 (KJB)
- And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
- The next day they had arrived in Jerusalem and the Christians who were
there had received Paul with much joy. They were happy to see Paul and his
company, especially with the Gentile believers, Luke still being with them.
- Acts 21:18 (KJB)
- And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all
the elders were present.
- The next day, Paul and Luke with the rest of the company had gone to see
James, the half-brother of Jesus. They had assembled all the elders of the
church of Jerusalem with James to greet Paul. It seems that none of the
other Apostles are mentioned as being in Jerusalem. 7 years prior at the
Council of Jerusalem in 49 AD, they were all there. At this time they all
must be in different areas of the Roman empire preaching the Gospel and
making converts. John had gone to Ephesus, Andrew was martyred in either
Greece or Scythia, and Thomas was martyred in India, so they had begun to
spread out very widely to proclaim the true Gospel.
- Acts 21:19 (KJB)
- And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God
had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
- Paul had greeted the Jerusalem elders warmly and then he declared to
them all the things that God was doing among the Gentiles by his ministry.
This is a very important point. Paul is stating that God was doing wonderful
things “by his ministry.” Every time a Christian has a ministry which is
true to the word, God will also do great things through that ministry. It is
a great encouragement to believers that when they minister in truth, that
God is the one who approves the ministry by allowing much fruit to be borne.
The Lord Jesus Christ had stated that the word of the Gospel would go forth
to the Gentile nations as well and Paul is now bringing the news that a
great ministry to the Gentiles and much fruit has been generated among them
in all the cities which Paul visited. When you think that Paul had
accomplished so much without the benefit of any of our modern tools such as
radio or TV, it staggers the mind. So those who say they have no ministry
but then waste time twittering and texting nonsense, they have only thrown
themselves in denial of the truth and they will have nothing to bring to
Heaven on the last day or their last day.
- Acts 21:20 (KJB)
- And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto
him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which
believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
- James and the Jerusalem elders had glorified the Lord because of the
great works which was being done among the Gentiles. The Jerusalem church
had a problem which they now shared with Paul. The Judaizers were still
teaching and insisting that one must keep the law, especially circumcision,
in order to be saved. The false teachers were following Paul from city to
city and making false accusations against him. They were claiming that Paul
taught that the Jews should not circumcise their sons and to stop walking in
the ways of Jewish customs. Paul had never taught the Jews that they had to
become Gentiles in order to be saved and in the same way he never taught the
Gentiles that they had to become Jews to be saved and follow Christ. Paul
taught a gospel of grace for salvation. Apparently some from the areas where
Paul was teaching had gone to Jerusalem to meet with the Sanhedrin and make
these false accusations against Paul and that is why Jerusalem was filled
with Judaizers. They probably came from Macedonia, Asia, Greece, and other
places and all had made the same false accusations against Paul.