Wednesday, 28 November 2018 21:07
The narrative is speeding up, and there is an atmosphere of approaching storm as Paul comes nearer Jerusalem.
Two things stand out here; (1st) there is the sheer determination of Paul to go on no matter what lay ahead. Nothing could have been more definite than the warning of the disciples at Tyre and of Agabus at Caesarea, but nothing could stop Paul from the course that he had chosen. During one of the sieges in the Spanish Civil War, some in the garrison wanted to surrender but one of their comrades said, "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees." Paul was like that. (2nd) There is a wonderful fact that wherever Paul went he found a Christian community waiting to welcome him. If that was true in Paul's time, it is truer today. One of the great privileges of belonging to the Church is the fact that no matter where a person goes, he is sure to find a community of like-minded people into which he may enter.
Agabus is an interesting person. Jewish prophets had a certain custom that when words were inadequate, they dramatized their message. There are many instances of this in the Old Testament-e.g., Isaiah 20:3-4; Jeremiah 13:1-11; 27:2; Ezekiel 4; 5:1-4; 1 Kings 11:29-31.
In the King James Version, the antiquity of the language may be misleading. Verse 15 says, "We took up our carriages and went up to Jerusalem." That may sound as if Paul and his friends traveled in a carriage. But in the sixteenth century, "carriage" meant not something that carried a person but something a person had to carry; it meant baggage.
Life Application: I don't know what Bible translation you are reading, but I suggest one of the modern English translations. I have several different translations so that I can be sure of what is being said. The meaning of the word "carriage" is a good example of that.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, I am so thankful for the modern English translations of the Bible that are available today. I am also thankful that there are translations in modern foreign languages now available. The Bible is the most powerful Book ever written. I love reading it even though I have read it many times in different English translations. Your Word is sharper than a two-edged sword. I used it often to say to the devil, "So it is written," and he must leave. Amen!