Here Paul has stopped in at Philip the evangelist’s house in the middle of his missionary journey. A certain prophet named Agabus comes from Judea to prophecy to Paul that if he goes to Jerusalem he will be imprisoned. On hearing this prophecy, the friends of Paul implore him through tears not to go to Jerusalem. Paul’s answer “What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13)
How could Paul continue on his missionary journey knowing the next destination would be treacherous? I cannot answer every aspect to this question but I believe we see a couple of points to consider in the surrounding verses.
Yes, these people loved God and loved Paul. But they didn’t realize what kind of perspective Paul had on life. For him to live was Christ and to die was gain! Paul was on a mission until he died. Paul had a pretty good idea that dying was going to be an eventual part of his mission. It is unbelievable to look at this man’s faith.
There were good men and women around Paul that were trying to get him to change his mind, but Paul was a fanatic or maybe he was just what a normal Christian should be, and so he wouldn’t listen. He stuck out on that day in the midst of other great Christians. I wonder what he would look like today in our “safe” Christian society. He lived what today would be labeled a risky life following after Christ.
Someone has said “It’s not a tragedy to die for what you believe in, but it is a tragedy to die for something only to realize that what you believed in betrayed you.”
Another man said “every man should fear to die until he has found something worth living for.”
I believe Paul was 100% confident that he found something worthy of his life and death – The Kingdom of God!!!
He lived his only life preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. His life was not his own and he knew there was one greater than this world watching over him. He also realized that the worst this world could do was kill his body but His loving Lord had control over his eternal soul. Are you ready to die? Have you found something worth living for?