Paul was on his way back to Jerusalem for he tried to teach in as many places as possible. Many years had gone by since Paul first was blinded on the road to Damascus. Now, he visited old friends and made new friends and wrote many letters to those friends he could not visit in person. Paul wanted to reach Jerusalem as quickly as possible or he knew he would not see his friends again. They had warned him that Jerusalem would be dangerous.
He said. “You know I must go onto Jerusalem. I must finish the work God has given me to do. Be careful while I’m gone and watch out for people who would like to see all our hard work ruined. Protect the Church here and carry on the work God has given us.”
Over and over again, Paul’s friends warned him about all the people who wanted him killed. Jerusalem had been the most dangerous city for Jesus and it would be the same for Paul. Everyone knew Paul would probably be thrown into prison there, even Paul this but it did not matter. He still had to go where God wanted him.
Paul wrote all this down in the letters he sent to friends. They were glad to hear from him but worried, too. What would happen to Paul in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem did turn out to be a dangerous place for Paul. The religious leaders led the people in a riot. They tried to kill Paul but Roman soldiers arrived just in time and arrested Paul, so the crowd would not kill him. They did not know who he was or what he had done wrong. Paul asked if he could talk to the crowd and the soldiers agreed.
Paul asked the people to listen to him, then he told them who he really was and how Jesus had changed him from an enemy of the Christians into one of their leaders. He talked about how he had met Jesus on his way to Damascus and of how God had sent him out to preach to the non-Jews, as well as the Jews. When the crowd heard this, they stopped listening and started yelling.
“Away with him!”
“Kill this man!”
The commander brought Paul inside the fort and was about to beat him so he could find out what he had done wrong.
“Wait a minute!” Paul warned him.”Are you allowed to beat a Roman citizen without a fair trial?”
The soldiers could get into a lot of trouble if they hurt Paul without a good reason so the commander talked to the religious leaders in the crowd. It was decided that the captain would bring Paul to them the next day to be tried. At his trial Paul tried to explain again but nobody listened, instead everyone started shouting at everyone else. The troops had to keep Paul from being torn to pieces. That night when Paul was back in prison The Lord stood next to him.
“Be brave, Paul, you’re doing the right thing. Just as you told people about me in Jerusalem, so you must tell them in Rome.”