Q. My questions concern Paul’s last visit to Ephesus where he was warned, more than once by people prophesying, prompted by the Spirit, that Paul should not go there, but he did so and ignored their warnings. Then, once he got there, he appeared to submit to the Judaizers in order to appease them and show that he was an Observant Jew, and did uphold following Law. Amazing, since he earlier taught so vehemently against the Law and he himself coined the word Judaizer.Why, in your opinion, did he do this?
A. Paul was warned against going to Jerusalem several times, but his heart for the Jewish people was so strong he insisted on doing so, saying he was ready to die there if necessary (Acts 21:12-13). In fact, in Romans 9:3 he said he wished that he himself would be cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of his brothers, those of his own race, the people of Israel.
When he arrived in Jerusalem he went to see James and the elders of the Church, who persuaded him to visit the temple to show that he upheld the Law of Moses, hoping it would put an end to the rumors that he was teaching the gentiles to disregard it (Acts 21:17-24).
It was an ill conceived act of appeasement for which the elders were just as responsible as Paul and it backfired. Paul was arrested and after trials before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa he was taken to Rome where he was eventually executed.
In my opinion Paul’s visit to Jerusalem was not of the Lord, but was due to the fact that he so desired for his people to come to know Jesus the way he did that his judgment was clouded.