I’m sure you remember how much the Jews in Jerusalem hated Paul. How the wanted him killed and how they lied about him. Did you notice something surprising in today’s reading about the leaders here in Malta? In verse 21 we read, “The leaders replied, ‘“No one from Judea has written us a letter about you. And not one of them has come here to report on you or to say anything against you.'”
What do you make of that?
Sounds like Paul’s desire to have his case heard in Rome has paid off. Seems that the Jewish leaders dared not tell their lies to Caesar.
And then these Jewish leaders here Caesar’s back yard said that they wanted to hear what Paul had to say, and that they understood “that people everywhere are against this new group.” The translation here is a bit weak, actually. Other more literal translations render the word that we see here as “group” as “sect”, which was a way to discount, or run it down. They didn’t take it seriously, because they had heard correctly that the Christ-followers were not well thought of.
And isn’t it the same way today? In much of the world, we are thought of as intolerant, unintelligent, etc.
Paul’s response to the Jewish leaders was to quote Isaiah, and I think it’s a good response today, as well. “You listen and don’t understand. You look and don’t see. You are stubborn, your ears are plugged up and you are blindfolded. You *can’t* see or hear or understand. If you could, you would turn to me, and I would heal you.”
My friend, the way to bring unbelievers to a place where they meet the Savior is not to argue, but to pray for their eyes their ears to be opened. All the arguing in the world will not change their mind. They must be touched by the Holy Spirit and given spiritual sight and spiritual hearing.
A reminder before I go today. Again today you heard some names that for some could be a bit tricky to pronounce. My book has those names, and about 7,400 more, with every spelling from every English Bible translation. So if you are a Bible study leader, a homeschool teacher, a pastor, a lectionary reader, or just a student of the Bible and you’re tired of stumbling over difficult Bible names, or being embarrassed when you try to read them in public, Webb’s Easy Bible Names Pronunciation Guide can help you. And now is the time to pick up your copy, because on February 1st, the price is going up. You can download your own copy at EasyBibleNamesGuide.com right now for just $5.99, but on February 1st, 2015, the price is going up to $15.99. It took two years for me to research and compile this resource, and a lot of folks have told me that I’m crazy to sell it for just $5.99, so I’ve decided to listen to them. But I wanted to give you fair warning before the price goes up. Head over to EasyBibleNamesGuide.com and get yours today for only $5.99. It’s a digital download, so it can be on your hard drive in no time, and you’ll never stumble over a hard Bible name again. It’s fun to have names like Gederothaim (guh-DEE-ruh-THAY-im) and Nergal-sharezer (NUHR-gal-shuh-REE-zuhr) just roll off your tongue. And your friends will be amazed at your new mad skill! EasyBibleNamesGuide.com.