“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”
Ok, so as I picked back up on my study of Romans, I did a double take at the first verse. A faith that is spoken of throughout the whole world?! When I hear “Roman” I think blood, massacre, tyranny, idol worshipping…essentially the people who were responsible for carrying out the death of Jesus and his followers. Also as an AP Latin student in my school days I studied their faith in multiple gods. So for Paul to say this, it kind of confused me….so I had to google.
According to Wikipedia (because, as they say, if Wikipedia says it’s so, then….) Paul wrote his letter to the Romans some 20+ years after the death of Christ. So I obviously need to take that into account. A LOT can change in a person after 20 years of something that significant happening. Rome was already a very well known city and people and so the fact that their faith spread throughout the world wasn’t a surprise. It was simply the fact that that was what they were known for that surprised me.
He then goes on to state his great desire to be with them. That he has basically longed for this day. He even tries to ease their minds some by letting them know that they have always been in his thoughts and prayers, but duty called him elsewhere. I mean…WOW! To be someone who is a friend to a city! I leave a room and everyone’s like, “meh.”
Paul’s transformation alone from his old self, Saul, is pretty mind blowing! I had broken every single Commandment in my life prior to being saved last year, and I’ve changed a LOT with the grace of God and love of Jesus…but I am no Saul/Paul. I am also amazed to learn that the Romans, his BFFs, chose to believe in Jesus by faith alone!
The Romans chose to believe despite having never seen any of the miracles performed by Jesus himself or through his apostles, nor having even met an apostle, is pretty amazing too. I mean, just think how long it took for people to “buy into” the fact that the Earth was round and not flat. These people accepted Jesus and who he was/is without having seen proof and within a couple decades were known for their faith world wide. If I were Paul I’d be pretty pumped to be there also! (Not to mention, it’s Italy! I know it wasn’t Italy back then….but if you don’t have a love for Italy, I don’t think we could be friends…*wink)
Anyway, it got me wondering what kind of letter Paul would write to me if he were planning to visit. “Hey, we need to talk!” would probably be his opening line. At least that’s what I hear Jesus telling me some days. What kind of greeting do you think Paul would give you?Tags: BFF, faith, Greek, greetings, Jesus, Jew, letter, paul, Romans, unseen
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