Friday, July 21, 2017

Acts 21:27-36

Acts 21:27-36
English Standard Version (ESV)

  We see here that there often isn't room for nuanced debate in the midst of a passionate crowd.  Paul didn't have the chance to explain why the crowd was wrong and that he was teaching the fulfillment of the Law -- he's lucky to have escaped with his life!
  We have to remember that the forward movement of the Gospel isn't dependent on us coming up with the perfect words to win over an individual or a crowd.  It's dependent upon God.  Paul could have considered himself a failure because of this escapade, but instead he trusted that God would lead him forward.  A failure like this didn't crush his confidence, because his confidence wasn't rooted in his ability, but rather in God's.  He was willing to trust that God would continue to lead him and use him, and the opposition wasn't directed at Paul, but at the truth of the Gospel message that many were resistant to.  Paul didn't take it personally, but continued to focus on Christ.
  So let us not lose heart and feel discouraged -- the Gospel is bigger than us, and resistance to the Gospel isn't necessarily directed at us or our words.  When things go terribly wrong, as they sometimes will, may we remember that God is a God of new beginnings, of resurrections, and that the most terrible day of all became the first Easter Sunday.

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