I’m trying to decide how I feel about the ending of Acts. Things come to a quick conclusion, maybe too quick. It makes me wonder if Luke was fighting a deadline that forced him to close off the story in a hurry. Or was he setting up a sequel?
I’m leaning toward the sequel.
Luke leaves Paul under house arrest in Rome, talking to whoever comes by, and as we know now, writing much of the New Testament. God used Paul’s arrest to give him the opportunity to write. Just think, if he had not been arrested he would have visited the Corinthians, Ephesians and all the others, spoken to them in person and we would have no record of his thoughts. Instead, he was confined to a house for two years and left to communicate by writing.
“God works all things into good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purposes,” he had written the Roman church earlier (Romans 8:28). His ability to write “unhindered” illustrates his point. God used Paul’s imprisonment to expand his ministry beyond his wildest expectations.
As for the sequel, we have no third volume from Luke to tell us what happened to Paul. There are two divergent traditions. One says he had his trial before Caesar and was executed. Another claims he was set free and took the gospel to Spain. We’re left to wonder.
Here’s something to think about as we get ready for our study Wednesday: Which section of Acts did you find most exciting? most challenging? most troubling ? most confusing? Leave a comment and let us know what you’re thinking.
See you Wednesday evening.