We have a very strong statement in verse 3: “they repeatedly told Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.” However Paul previously said that he was “compelled” by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem (20:22). Is someone wrong? Or is the case being overstated by the disciples, when in reality it was more like what Agabus conveyed (21:11)? Can we know for sure?
I don’t believe that the Spirit would mislead on this issue. The disciples probably allowed their emotions to get the best of them when conveying the message. God was simply letting Paul know the way forward: it is through chains! That is the way he will be able to carry the gospel forward, and he is willing to die in the attempt! The warning to us is clear: living the Christian life can entail hardship, but God will see us through. We just have to be faithful.