Sunday, August 16, 2009

Own hired house (Acts 28)

We now reach the last chapter of this amazing book. Some scholars believe that this, plus Luke's Gospel, were composed as legal briefs, to provide background information for the Roman magistrate who was hearing Paul's case.

In 1970, a friend opened the Bible at random, asking its Author to provide an encouraging word. The "word" that emerged did indeed encourage:
Act 28:30 Pavlus tam iki yıl kendi kiraladığı evde kaldı ve ziyaretine gelen herkesi kabul etti.
Act 28:31 Hiçbir engelle karşılaşmadan Tanrı'nın Egemenliği'ni tam bir cesaretle duyuruyor, Rab İsa Mesih'le ilgili gerçekleri öğretiyordu.
Paul dwelt tam iki yıl (a whole two years) in his own hired house. People could visit him there, and he could preach, in the heart of Caesar's Rome, the good news of another King.

In 1992, I read that passage again, in Greek, in Vinnitsa, Ukraine -- a shabby land filled with lovely people. I'd love to go back there again someday, perhaps as a teacher, and talk with people who are intrigued by the King.

Oh, well. Some people have natural charisma, an innate ability to attract and hold attention. My son had more at six months of age than I do today. Others of us have to work harder, and make do with credibility, and the external trappings that indicate it. Paul had both -- and even as a prisoner under house arrest, wrote letters, received visitors, and shaped history.

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