Reading: Acts 17-18
Summary: This eventful journey of Paul and Silas continues. Having read yesterday of Paul’s first venture into Europe in response to the “Macedonian call” (16:6-10), the gospel has come to Philippi and now also to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth. Before the conclusion of chapter 18, Luke tells of Paul’s start of his third journey and the arrival in Ephesus of another prominent and effective preacher, Apollos.
Isn’t what Jesus has done wonderful? His care and His love for people? His marvelous teaching? His dying for me? Wow! It’s just all pretty amazing.
Has someone ever done something for you that was very nice and for which you were quite appreciative, but it wasn’t really necessary? You could have done it yourself, someone else could have done it, or maybe it didn’t really have to be done at all—though it was still a wonderful thing they did?
None of that is true of what Jesus has done. Paul explained and proved to the Thessalonians that it was necessary for Jesus to suffer and rise from the dead (Acts 17:3). Necessary.
It was necessary because of sin. It was necessary because of God’s justice and mercy. It was necessary because only He could accomplish receiving sin’s penalty on our behalf. It was necessary so that we might have salvation and hope, which every person needs. It was necessary because it answered the “finality” of death.
It was necessary because it had to be done; I could never do it for myself, and He alone was able to accomplish it.
Is what Paul proved lost on me? Has the weight of the necessity of Jesus suffering and rising from the dead fallen fully upon me?