This past Sunday morning (Jan. 8), I preached from Acts 21:1-26 with a focus on peace. The peace that bound the early Christians together is obvious in the many common, simple displays of love mentioned throughout this passage (greeting each other [vs.4,7,16-17], praying together [vs.5], sharing tears of love together [vs.13], etc.). However, this bond of peace is most obvious and emphatic in the forgiveness and hospitality Philip showed Paul as he opened his home to him (vs.8). Remember, Paul (aka: Saul) was a man who in time past had helped murder Philip’s friend, Stephen (cf. 7:59-8:1)!
Consequently, a huge theme in this passage is about the ability of forgiveness and forbearance in the lives of believers to overcome resentment and violence. This stands in stark contrast to Paul’s near death at the hands of a riotous, angry mob of unbelievers in the passage that immediately follows it (21:27-40)!
So, Acts 21:17-40 (with special emphasis on vs.20-29) will be my campground during this coming Sunday morning’s sermon (Jan. 15), God willing. It’s about true accomodation (vs.20-26) and false assumption (vs.27-29). That means it will be a sermon only those who have ever been misunderstood or who have made a false assumption about someone need to hear. I’ll see ya’, Sunday!