When we read this chapter, we again follow the history of Paul – righteous protector of the Jewish Law, committed warrior against the One Who Is the Way, the Truth and the Life, murderer of His followers.
Yet, it was God’s will that Paul be a great missionary, spreading the Good News of salvation to all the known world. This should give us great hope as we pray for friends and family who are unsaved, and seem impossible to reach. Don’t give up . Nothing is impossible with God.
When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
Paul knew the work set before him, and the journey he must take. The others were dismayed, in fear and in sorrow, so they tried in every way to persuade him not to go. This reminds me of when Jesus first told the disciples He would suffer and die. Peter rebuked Him, and with confidence said, “Surely not, Lord.” When we love and respect someone we want to protect them from harm, but there are times when we must let them go, trusting God for the days of their lives.
Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
This passage just begged to be researched in the original language, so I studied out “word”, “house”, “inheritance”, and “commit”. This is my understanding of this verse with all of its original meanings – full of promise and hope.
Now I entrust you to the charge of God, and I entrust you also to the very real expression of His friendship, which in no way was earned by you, but was given to you as a gift. This promise of His unearned friendship will build you up in the same way a house is built – foundation to roof. This unearned friendship which God bestows on you, will give you your position in Christ, and all of your possessions as a believer, when the new order of Christ is established on His return.
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
Boldly…Paul spoke with confidence and with persuasiveness of speech, but some REFUSED to believe. This is why it isn’t up to us. God persuades men through us, but some will refuse to believe. It is not that God didn’t answer our prayers. It is not that we didn’t do enough. Some will REFUSE to believe.
Pray for friends, family, co-workers and neighbors that they will not become obstinate and refuse to believe.
vs. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. vs. 19. They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. vs. 24. Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. vs. 28. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Today, when we use the word Scripture we are speaking of the entire Bible. These folks did not have the New Testament because they were living it, so they were proving Jesus was the Messiah using only the Old Testament, the fact of Jesus’ resurrection and His crucifixion. No one, then, today, Jew or Gentile, has any excuse because the plan of salvation through a sinless Saviour is clearly presented in the Old Testament and the New.
vs. 16 and 17 .While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
The first missionary, and the first street evangelist, Paul took advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel – synagogues, market places, jail, think tanks.
vs. 27 and 28 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Now, put these two things together. We live and move in Him, so watch for every opportunity God gives us to share this amazing Gospel, the Good News. God inviting man to live with Him forever because He, the Offended One, the Injured Party has forgiven all of our sins through the death of His Son Jesus Christ. Corinthians says we are His ambassadors. We represent His interests here on earth. He has entrusted us with the invitation.