Romans 15:22–33 (NKJV)
22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.Romans 15:22-29
Paul has been straightforward and frank with the Roman believers concerning things in which they may have operated in error. He has taught them about the wonderful plan of God for the lives of all who would believe. He has corrected them concerning the inclusion of Gentiles who have faith into the kingdom of God. He is now sharing a personal desire to come to see them and commune with them in person. He has been detained from that desire, and has a trip to Jerusalem to complete where he will give offerings received on his missionary journey for the church in Jerusalem. The believers in Macedonia and Achaia were generous in giving to them, and Paul is the messenger and deliverer of their gifts. He hopes to go to Rome as soon as his journey to Jerusalem is completed.
30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.Romans 15:30-33
In this further personal note, Paul shares a prayer request that reflects his concern over his possibly cold reception in Jerusalem. He has been told of the continuing resistance to his ministry to the Gentiles, and his characterization as a heretic, giving the precious gospel to the non-Jews who would believe. Little did he know that eventually the Jewish contingent of the Jerusalem population would seek for Paul’s conviction and death. Paul hoped to come to Rome by his own volition, but his trip to Rome would be made as a prisoner, to face charges to be heard by Caesar himself. Paul would have his wish to see the Christians in Rome, but not under the optimal circumstances. The truly admirable thing about Paul was his willingness to still answer the call of God, and carry out the ministry of the gospel, regardless of the circumstances in which he found himself. He carried on in spite of opposition and oppression, and was effective. Let’s take a lesson from Paul and be diligent, even in less-than-favorable circumstances.
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