I’m always a little sad when I get to the end of the book. The characters become my friends, and I want to know more about their lives and the rest of their story. In this last chapter of Acts, Paul and his 276 traveling companions arrive safely on an island called Malta, and after three months of waiting out the winter weather and witnessing miraculous healings, they continue their journey.
At last, Paul arrives in Rome! Many Christians warmly greet him, some even traveling great distances to do so – Christians who Paul wrote a letter to a few years earlier. Paul is permitted to live by himself chained to the soldier guarding him while he awaits his trial before Caesar.
Great numbers came to his place of house arrest to hear his message. From morning till evening he speaks to the Jews first about the Kingdom of God and persuading them concerning Jesus from Moses and the prophets. Some were convinced, but others disbelieved. A recurring theme.
Luke ends Acts as follows…” He [Paul] lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”
Wait! I want more. He is finally in Rome…what happens? How did his trial before Caesar go? Why the abrupt ending?
The truth is, Acts wasn’t about Peter or Paul. Acts is about the charge of Jesus to, ” be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). It is about the Holy Spirit moving in the lives of believers to spread the Gospel. And this ending was just the beginning of those to follow. This ending is OUR beginning. The Gospel has yet to reach the ends of the earth…we still have work to do. We are part of God’s story, and our charge is every bit as important as Paul’s. What if instead of simply reading the Bible as an account of church history or instructions on how to live, we stepped into the story and became part of it? In our big or small spheres of influence, we too have a role and a Gospel to spread. Let us do so without hindrance and with the same faith, boldness, and determination of Paul. Acts 29, [insert your name]…
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