As I mentioned in the last post, I was wondering why so many questions were left unanswered. Like, why we don’t have any information about Paul standing before Caesar? Why we don’t have any stories telling us about one rescue after another until Paul arrived in Rome, and then in the final chapter of the book, why don’t we hear anything about his trial, and particularly its outcome?
I suppose one easy answer is that Luke completed Acts before these things happened. You can’t write about something that hasn’t happened yet, right? Now if this is the case, we have to believe that God must not have considered an account of these events to be essential for Christians; otherwise, later writings containing these accounts would have been included in the New Testament canon. That being said, there are several historical and unofficial writings, that give some of Paul’s history. But now, setting these time-related questions aside, there are still some things we would like to know: Like why isn’t ther more emphasis on Paul’s Gentile ministry (or ministry in general) in Rome? Why is there so much more emphasis on the shipwreck in chapter 27 and the beginning of chapter 28 than on Paul’s time in Rome in chapter 28? Well shoot, along that line, why is there so much emphasis on Publius and his family, and yet none on Caesar?
All that is well and good, but after reading everything we have covered so far, why was it so important for Paul to reach Rome when there was already a church there? What did Paul’s visit to Rome accomplish? Why did he use such strong words (citing from Isaiah 6) in responding to the Jewish leaders in Rome when their rejection of the gospel was neither unanimous nor violent?
Like I said, as we come to the end of the Book of Acts, we are left with a lot of our questions unanswered. Before I would have tried to explain this by saying that Luke intended to write yet another volume or, he assumed that a “third volume” is even now in the process of being “written.” We don’t know . . . maybe Luke concluded the Book of Acts exactly the way he wanted to. It could be. The problem isn’t that Luke has left important things out of his account; the problem is that we are looking for the wrong things, rather than paying attention to what Luke is trying to tell us. So let’s get into this chapter and see what we can discover . . .