The Big Stage

Jesus had called Paul, having chosen him as his instrument to be the apostle to the Gentiles. From the Jews would come God’s blessing to all nations, so that God’s plan would be fulfilled through all of the earth. God had blessed Abraham saying that all nations would be blessed through him. Now Jesus, through his death and resurrection, had opened the way for all men to come to God through him, and Paul would be the one who would speak for Christ, to be the first one to take the message to them.

Paul had been carrying out these duties for the last 15 years or so and now, he is finally going to face the Jews in Jerusalem, just as Jesus had done before him. This confrontation had been prophecied as he had made his way to Jerusalem, even as far back as his time in Asia minor, but now the time had come.

Paul had given his testimony of what had happened to him, and how Jesus had appeared to him and sent him to the Gentiles, as he stood before the Sannhedrin. Now, due to his quick thinking and taking advantage of a well-known point of contention and division between the Pharisees and the Saducees, Paul had been taken away from the Sannhedrin by the Roman guard who was in charge of him. And it is at this point that Jesus comes to Paul again to speak to him, saying:

“Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Acts 23:11

So Paul’s journey would continue. His work wasn’t done. He had always spoken first to the Jews, which he had done in this case, but as they rejected his message, which they had also done in this case, he went to the Gentiles. Jesus would now send him straight into the heart of the most Gentile of the Gentiles that world would have known at that time, to Rome, the capital of the Roman empire.

And consistent with his calling, Paul would be speaking about Jesus there. Paul would be carrying the message of grace and mercy and forgiveness to the Gentiles. He would carry the message that God’s light had come into the world. But there were also two very important additional messages that he would need to carry to the Gentiles.

First, given that he is carrying the message to Rome, one message would be very clear. Jesus is the King over every other king, and Jesus’s Kingdom will reign over every other kingdom. Many men will try to take the place of power and plant their legacy to continue forever, but only Jesus’s Kingdom will last forever. Caesar isn’t the true king. Jesus is the only true King. He is the one that we should serve and obey over all others.

And second, Paul would also carry a similar message that Jesus is God. There is One God. And only One God. And that God is Jesus.

The Romans were polytheistic and considered themselves to be highly religious. They allowed for the possibility that there were many, many gods, even having adopted many of the Greek gods in addition to those that they had worshiped. Why was this OK? Because none made a claim of deity over other false or fake gods.

And yet, that is exactly the message that Paul had been delivering to the Gentiles before and would continue to deliver now to the Romans. All of the other “gods” that they consider themselves religiously serving are simply manmade idols made from silver, gold, wood, and stone. And yet they continued to build temples and worship those things that they had made with their own hands.

But there is a God who made heaven and earth and everything in them and that God presents Himself to us as Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. One God, and the rest of them are fake. That One God is continuing to reestablish His Kingdom in both heaven and here on the earth, having purchased His own people with His own blood, the blood of Jesus Christ.

This is the message that Paul would be taking to the heart of the government that ruled over the Gentiles in his time, and this is the same message that we, as Christians should be carrying throughout the entire world even today. The message hasn’t changed. The King is still King and our role is to continue to testify and proclaim Him on both the biggest and most grand, as well as the smallest and most humble stages all across the world. There is no place that the message must not go. No place that we are not called to proclaim it because our God wants that all people, everywhere, will worship Him.

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