Acts 21:17–26 (ESV)
Paul Visits James
When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his
ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you
teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have
four men who are under a vow; 24 take these men and purify your self along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live
in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.”
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for each one of them.
The “James” that Paul is visiting in Jerusalem is none other than Jesus brother James. James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem, and the author of the book of James. Paul had a good visit with James and he told about
all of the work he has down in the ministry to the Jews and Gentiles. Rumor was going around that Paul was teaching Jews and Gentiles that they no longer had to observe the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. James recommends that Paul show that
he has not thrown out the Law, but still observes it. Paul takes the advice and follows through.
I pray: O Lord, help me to live my faith, yet do so in a reverent way. Help me to not be a
stumbling block to others. Amen.