Day 53: God’s Motivation is Easy to Understand (Acts 22:30 – 23:10)
Today’s Passage: Acts 22:30-23:10
Sometimes I will say something, and the reaction of others really catches me off guard. I don’t get upset at them, rather I ask myself “I wonder what I have done in the past that leads them to hear me through that filter?”
After all, they are reacting not just to words, but words spoken by a specific person—me!
My history with them will affect the filter they hear these words through.
Which is why today, I have to remind myself of what I wrote just a day or so ago. I need to read today’s text through the lens of what God is doing in and through a human.
Why the reminder?
Because many scholars love to debate just “what is Paul up to?”. They are hearing the Scripture through the filter of how they perceive St. Paul. And I read those scholars. My study can condition me to do the same thing. Instead, I need to ask “What is God up to?”
What do you think God is up to? I think, first and foremost, while we see these fella’s as Paul’s enemies, God sees them as his lost children.
I don’t think Paul’s appealing to himself as being a Pharisee and the resurrection of the dead is a tactic to divide “his opposition”. Certainly, it has that effect.
There is however a higher aim. Their salvation.
These people have heard Paul’s testimony from a day earlier. How Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, spoke to Paul. They know of Paul’s success. They know that thousands of Jews in Jerusalem are following Jesus (see Acts 21:20). Thousands have come home. Thousands will be with God when the dead are raised.
Paul’s heart is that his countryman would know Jesus (see Romans 9:1-5).
Imagine how BIG God’s heart is in this regard! God’s Motivation throughout the Bible is clear, that His lost children would return home. The CROSS shouts this desire from the heavens.
God desires that no one should perish. He desires that all would come home. This trial scene reveals God continuing to reach out to those who are lost. And God, through Paul, puts before them a key issue—do they believe there is life AFTER this life?
So often today we make Christianity about making our life in this world better—and look, following God is the best way—but it is not the end goal.
The end goal is eternity with God. Is your focus more on this life, or the next?