Commentary on the Gospel of
Acts 20:17-27; John 17:1-11a
What or who is your “Why”?
“Compelled by the Spirit” (Acts 20:22). When you visit the Judean desert, you wonder how could someone survive under such harsh conditions. And yet, the Holy Spirit led Jesus there to face a forty day period of testing (Mark 1:12-13). The same Spirit compels apostle Paul to go to Jerusalem. The aim of this journey was to bring a financial assistance to the poor Christian in Jerusalem (Rom 15:25-26). It was a risky trip. Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel of grace earned him many enemies in the Holy City and even among the Jewish Christians there were some who resented his apparent 'disregard' for the law of Moses. How many of us feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to difficult places to share the Gospel? How many of us feel compelled to put our lives at risk to help our poor brothers and sisters?
The worries of Paul were confirmed. He was captured, nearly killed, and had to spend two years in prison before being finally sent to Rome. And yet, those trials advanced the proclamation of the Gospel of God’s grace, the passion for which Paul lived and was willing to die (Acts 20:24).
What is your attitude towards life? Have you already discovered your passion? Do you know what kind of ministry God has called you into? Socrates said that "the unexamined life is not worth living", and Victor Franks wrote that “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Paul's 'why' was Jesus and the Gospel, therefore he was able to bear all sorts of trials, difficulties, and dangers (see 2 Cor 11:21-33). How about you?