December 14: Acts 27-28
26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
27 For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’
28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”
Acts 28:26-28, ESV
Do You Hear What I Hear?
After shipwreck at sea, and wintering at the island of Malta, Paul was brought to Rome in the spring of the year. As was his custom in the cities in Asia, Paul called together the rulers of the Jews so that he might present to them the truth of the Gospel.
As was also true in Asia, Paul received a mixed reaction from the Jewish community.
23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. (from Romans 28, ESV)
Why is that? Two people standing next to each other hear the same Gospel proclaimed and yet it elicits two completely different responses. Not only are the two responses different, but those who do not believe become enemies of the believers. Such was the case in Rome. Just as the Jewish leaders in other cities were seeking the death penalty for Paul, so would the Jewish leaders in Rome do likewise.
As Christmas approaches, and we are thinking again of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, the question needs to be asked, "Do you hear what I hear?" Do you understand the real meaning of Christmas? Without the birth of Christ there would be no Gospel, and there would be no salvation for mankind.
Do not let the gaiety of the season distract you from the true miracle of Christmas. Christ, the Son of God, the God man, was born so that He might die for others to live. Just as He was resurrected after His death on the cross, so do all believers have the confidence that we, too, will be resurrected at the last day, and so shall we ever be with the Lord!
God Bless You,