Epistles of Thomas

October 23, 2008

Acts 25-28

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 17:32

A new leader, Festus, is called on to hear Paul’s case. He is surprised that the charges are about a dead man named Jesus whom Paul claims is alive (25:19). Paul once again tells his personal story, this time to Festus and King Agrippa and Bernice. These leaders are no more sympathetic than the Jewish crowds and Festus declares that Paul is insane (26:24). They do agree that he is not guilty of any crime, however crazy he might be for believing in Jesus and his resurrection from the dead.

Why does Luke spend so much time (and precious paper) telling us about their ship’s voyage to Rome? Why did he not just summarise it in a few sentences and then tell us more about what happened in Rome after Paul arrived there? He concludes very abruptly with the news that Paul spent two years in Rome in a rented apartment proclaiming the news boldly and without hindrance. I think he is emphasising that the hand of God was at work in bringing Paul to Rome and the Gentiles. This is emphasised by the final speech in which Paul warns the Jews from Isaiah 6 that is they refuse to believe him it shows that they are included among those who are under judgment (28:26f). As a consequence he will focus on proclaiming the good news to the Gentiles.


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