Monday, January 17, 2011
How I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in Acts 28 where Paul meets with the leader's of the Jews upon his arrival in Rome. He tells them why he has arrived in Rome from Jerusalem. He explains that back in Jerusalem, he had done nothing against his people or the customs of their fathers, yet he was delivered as a prisoner into their hands as a result of him appealing to Ceasar since the Jewish leaders back in Jerusalem wanted to put him to death. Paul told these leaders in Rome that he wanted to explain to them that it was because of the hope of Israel that he was bound and delivered to them in chains.
Because they had heard of this "sect" and how it was spoken against everywhere, their curiosity in knowing about it (the hope of Israel) made them schedule a time where all could meet and hear what Paul had to say.
Some days later, when they were able to meet with Paul, they met in the residence that he was staying at (he was under house arrest). Upon their arrival, there was an even greater number of the Jewish leaders who came to hear what Paul had to say. From that morning until evening Paul expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God. He tried to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets and as time wore on, the Word of God, the Gospel, the Good News changed their hearts. Many of these men became convinced. The scales were removed from their eyes. They heard and understood. They saw and perceived. God opened their eyes and their ears. And their hearts understood. They turned and God healed them.
The part that I would loved to have seen is the process they went through during this period of time. I would have loved to have see the demeanor of the leaders in the morning and then watched them change as the day wore on. I would have loved to have seen their faces and their physical posture (from defiance or possibly skepticism to faithful acceptance) change over the course of that time. How wonderful it would have been to see it dawn on them that they had been "missing it", as their fathers had "missed it" all along, and all of a sudden see them "get it". They understood that God's Word, what Paul persuaded them with, had been pointing to Jesus from the very beginning of time. How wonderful it would have been to see them go home and tell their wives that they had been wrong all along, to tell their friends that they had been teaching them in the wrong way, and to see them begin to start to teach their family and friends about the Hope of Israel, the only Way, the Way of Truth