The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts 21:11-14, Agabus was very clear about his prophecy. The Jews would bind Paul and deliver him to the Gentiles. He presents this as absolutely certain. What would we do in the same situation? Would we not encourage Paul to seek shelter, to go somewhere other than Jerusalem, maybe to hide somewhere?
While Christians often flee persecution, Paul remains firm in his resolve. He is going to Jerusalem. We remember his intention to go on to Rome. Being handed over to the Gentiles could well make that happen. In any case, Paul cares much more for the ministry he is able to engage in than he does for his own safety. He wants to carry Jesus with him on this journey. That is his resolve. Nobody can convince him otherwise.
We may well ask ourselves, and ask fairly, whether we are willing to lay down even our lives for the sake of the Gospel. I pray that we would be altogether willing, but that we would never actually have to face the kind of persecution which would threaten our lives. The Lord give us strength and wisdom.
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