I love social media. I spend time connecting with friends in my community and friends around the world. One of my greatest abiding frustrations with the internet and print media in general is that you cannot see a person’s face and always accurately interpret things like tone and/or motive. This reality often leads to misunderstanding. Clearly in Paul’s day (1st century) it was not the same cause, though it became the same end. These religious Jews thought that Paul was coming to mock their tradition. Let’s see what caused the misunderstanding. This week we’ll turn to Acts 21:18-40.
Here are some questions that will give us some insight into this specific misunderstanding and may also serve to help us to avoid being misunderstood…
1. What are some common ways that we contribute to being misunderstood (our part)?
2. What are some common reasons people misunderstand others (their part)?
3. What was the indictment against Paul (v.21)?
4. It doesn’t tell us, but (speculate) where might this charge have come from?
5. What was the suggested remedy (vv.23-24)? And what was the significance of it?
6. What was the problem with the possibility of having Gentiles in the temple (vv.28-29)?
7. In general, what are some of the inherent dangers in mob mentality (vv.30-35)?
8. What could the Roman commander see that the mob could not (vv.33-40)?
9. Practically speaking what are some things we can do to avoid being misunderstood?
If you’d like to dig a little deeper follow the link to this commentary… Acts 21:18-40.