In today's reading we enter an interesting part of Paul's journey, which we've had hints of before. Rome is a background player in most of the story. At this point, Roman authority enters the story as peacekeeper between Paul and the Jewish leaders who want to kill him. Like many religious conflicts, this phase of the conflict between Paul and the Jewish leaders begins with a misunderstanding. Paul tried to smooth things over with his fellow Jews by entering fully into religious ritual. They have already seen him with a gentile Christian in Jerusalem and they assume Paul has brought him into the temple, even though he hasn't. In this section Paul does everything he can and it still doesn't work out. Then the Roman military leader steps in to keep the peace. In the pages to come we'll see this develop into an interesting story, but at this point, it's just an officer breaking up a disturbance. Once again, we see that many in the crowd are just there for excitement and don't really know what's going on.
May your weekend be peaceful and joyous,