Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Acts, Chapter 21: Spring Break

Paul starts on the Girls Gone Wild leg of his tour, stopping off at the Greek party spots of Kos and Rhodes to evangelise. And yeah, it was probably every bit as annoying as the dude in the video. At one point, the whole crowd marches off to the beach to pray amongst the nubile co-eds who only want to drink and flash their moneymakers and not think about eternal salvation when there are free shots around, okay?

The next day, Paul splits. The rest of the group, which shifts back and forth between using the first person plural and the third person plural, and is currently running with the former, goes on to Caesarea to pray with Philip and his four crazy daughters. They all prophesy, but it's okay because they're on the right team. Otherwise they'd be possessed by demons and in need of exorcism.

While they're hanging out there, another prophet named Agabus shows up. He's a big fan of 50 Shades of Grey, because the first thing he does is take off Paul's belt and bind his hands and feet with it, saying the holy ghost has predicted that the Jews of Jerusalem are going to do this same thing to Paul and give him to the gentiles.

Paul's followers beg him not to go to Jerusalem, but he says he's ready to die. So they all go in a little posse and arrive at the home of someone called James. They exchange stories, and James gives Paul a warning that his unstoppable force has met its immovable object, specifically the Jews who are every bit as zealous about their laws as Paul is about Jesus, and how unhappy they are that he's been teaching the Jews in more multi-culti environments that they don't have to keep to the book anymore, even down to circumcision. James has a plan involving four men who are under some sort of vow, possibly Nazarites. He wants Paul to shave his head and join them, so people will think he's obeying the law now. As for the gentiles, they've written to them and told them they have to follow all 613 laws.

Amazingly, Paul actually does it. But after a week, the Jews grab him, crying out to their fellow Jews that this is the guy who's been sullying the temple with Greeks and their delicious, delicious tzaziki. They're about to kill him when word reaches the chief of police that there is yet another riot going on. He runs down to the commotion with some soldiers. The Jews leave off beating Paul and he asks what's going on. When no one has a coherent story, he arrests Paul and brings him into the castle. Paul asks in Greek for a word with the captain, which is surprising in that all the disciples are supposed to be completely uneducated. In fact, the captain has no idea who he is, and mistakes him for an Egyptian terror cell that ran off into the desert. But no, Paul introduces himself and asks to address the people. They let him, but his words will have to wait for tomorrow's entry.

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