Today’s devotion is written by Melanie and Kim Lee.
In this passage, Paul is talking to the Jewish people living in Rome. He has come to Rome because he was arrested and faced fierce judgment and appealed to Cesar as a Roman citizen to present his case. Paul explained to the Jewish leaders what had happened to him and that he was not trying to throw them under the bus. They responded by saying that they hadn’t heard anything about him or the situation. However, they did want to hear more. They had not heard anything good about the Christian “sect,” but they were curious.
“But we would like very much to hear more. The only thing we know about this Christian sect is that nobody seems to have anything good to say about it.” https://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/acts/28.html
However, the Jewish leaders really did not want to hear more. They had a preset notion of the nothing good that the Christians would say.
Then as now, people can see with their eyes and hear with their ears, but if their heart is not open to the Good News, it’s as if their eyes are closed and their ears are plugged. To be open to the Holy Spirit, your heart has to be open too.
From the Message Bible:
26 Go to this people and tell them this: “You’re going to listen with your ears, but you won’t hear a word; You’re going to stare with your eyes, but you won’t see a thing.
27 These people are blockheads! They stick their fingers in their ears so they won’t have to listen; They screw their eyes shut so they won’t have to look, so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face and let me heal them.”
28 “You’ve had your chance. The non-Jewish outsiders are next on the list. And believe me, they’re going to receive it with open arms!”
As a result, Paul moved on to the Gentiles. That’s us! We are the Gentiles grafted onto the vine of the long line of believers.
How will you approach the Good News? Will you have open hearts? Your ears and eyes will follow your heart.
How can you help a friend hear and see the Good News?
What are your thoughts, comments, questions?