Over the past couple years, I’ve struggled to connect with Paul (the apostle). I realize that part of this has to do with the fact that I’ve not recently spent much time in his letters, but it is also because, when I think of Paul and his letters, I still think of “Paul the logistician.” Acts 21:7-14 helps break down this caricature.
Read the text in Greek or English.
Notice that Paul says, “What are you doing, crying and breaking my heart?” I take these words at face value. The people were genuinely and emotionally showing their love for Paul by begging him not to go to Jerusalem, and this, in turn, broke Paul’s heart. Yet he had to go.
People deeply loved Paul, and this means he deeply loved people.
Lord knows we all need help in this area.