Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Acts 16: Timothy, "us," one annoying demon, and lots more

So many interesting events happen in Acts 16. Here are the highlights:

I meet Timothy, Paul's son in the faith. I have a son Timothy by adoption, and another (kind of) son in the faith Timothy. And he's a newspaper publisher - go figure! The name means "honoring God" and praise be to Him that describes both of my Timmers. The Guy Page Translation says that his mother was a Norwegian and his father was a geek. No wait, a Greek. I don't remember pledging anywhere......

I see the Spirit tugging Paul to Macedonia. First he stops him from going the wrong way, then he sends a vision of a Macedonian begging him to come. I guess even Paul needed the equivalent of an angelic tap every now and again.

I see Luke introduce "we" into the narrative. Luke has joined his story. Interesting that his first account is about Lydia, a godly woman (Luke's gospel talks more about women than any other). The second is about a demon who tells everyone that Jesus is the son of God, but repeats itself so often that Paul becomes annoyed even though the content of the preaching really can't be faulted. Repetition, bad delivery, and above all the character of the preacher will spoil even the best sermon.

I see "Paul and Silas went to jail, had no money for their bail," as we used to sing in Rescue. Their crime is depriving slaveowners of a very profitable demon. How upside down is our world, that greed can cause lead to the imprisonment of men who are trying to set the world free. But hold on: what they meant for evil God meant for good: salvation for the jailer and all his household.

I see Paul refusing vehemently the "offer" of the judges to drop all charges once he has discovered Paul is a Roman citizen. Not for his own honor, but keeping his eye on the prize of the furtherance of the gospel, Paul humiliates the magistrates by forcing them to personally escort him out of the city. It reminds me of the end of the book "Lord of the Rings," where Frodo and Sam allow the self-important "sheriffs" to accompany them back to Hobbiton, but it is pretty clear just who is leading who. Paul would allow the Holy Spirit to tell him where to minister, but woe to the human authority who tried to do likewise.

No comments:

Post a Comment