Thursday, September 16, 2010

the long trip

Acts 28:20 "For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."
This is the final chapter of Acts.  Paul has survived shipwreck on the island of Malta.  He heals folks on that island and then makes his way to Sicily and then up the Italian coast to Rome.  It is encouraging to read how Christian believers heard of him coming and met him along the way.   The trip from Jerusalem to Rome appears to be at least 1500 miles in distance.  As has been Paul's custom, he starts by reaching out to the Jews in Rome.  After all, they are the ones who have been looking for the Messiah for generations.  They are the ones who need to know that the One they have been awaiting, whom the prophets foretold through many writings, has come.  They are the ones who should recognize Jesus.  Paul spends a full day, morning till evening reasoning with them from the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  Verse 24 recounts, "And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved."  It's interesting that even the unbelief was prophesied by Isaiah and quoted in verses 26-27 "Go to this people and say: Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand..."   We see Paul in a rented house in Rome receiving all who would come to see him and preaching the kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus as the book of Acts closes.  It seems fitting that we leave Paul in the midst of ministry.  His story wasn't yet finished and the Gospel is still being preached.  The book of Acts is still being written, in a sense, and many others have picked up the baton from Paul and risked life while sacrificing much to bring the good news of God's fulfilled love.  The Lord made the long trip from Heaven to reach us.  Paul made the long trip to Rome to reach others.  We, too, can make the long trip from our personal comfort zone to share the message all the world needs!
Rob Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment