Acts 21:13, Paul, the second Jesus?

Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

//Paul had to be about the most stubborn fella in the New Testament. One day, Paul had some money that he wanted to take and share with the Christians in Jerusalem, so he set his mind to making the trip. Everybody, even God, knew better. The Holy Spirit sent a prophet from Judea named Agabus, who came up to Paul and, with Paul’s belt, bound him hand and foot, saying, “In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.” Everyone pleaded with Paul not to go. 

I wonder if perhaps Paul hadn’t been reading Zechariah, chapter 14. There, Zechariah predicts that Gentiles will come to Jerusalem to offer their praise and sacrifices to God. Paul intended to help that scripture along, and grew quite determined, announcing “I’m ready to go die in Jerusalem.” As John Henson says in his book, Bad Acts of the Apostles, Paul wanted to “do a Jesus.” As Jesus boldly set his face toward Jerusalem, the place where he would be bound and crucified, so did Paul. 

But it didn’t work. There would be no second Jesus. Paul was indeed arrested, but he couldn’t pull off a Jesus. Instead of remaining silent like a lamb, he started claiming Roman citizenship and presenting his defense. So, they shipped him off to Rome, where he would eventually be put to death.

Now, here comes the kicker. The second century book The Acts of Peter finds Jesus telling Peter he will be sacrificed a second time in the City of Rome! Paul, the second Jesus?


  1. Anonymous

    “The second century book The Acts of Peter finds Jesus telling Peter he will be sacrificed a second time in the City of Rome!”

    Doesn’t the same book make Peter that second sacrifice? Or rather the apparition of Jesus uses this to shame Peter into going back into the city to be crucified upsidedown?

  2. Yes indeedy. Perhaps Paul got the same message. Paul must have been terribly disappointed when his end came with beheading rather than crucifixion…especially when his competitor Peter managed to pull off a near-Jesus.

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