This Sunday we finished our sermon series through the book of Acts. I love the ordinary ending of this fascinating book.
“He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28:30–31)
The entire book of Acts has been trending toward this moment in Acts 28:30–31. This is the ending. This is what we’ve been waiting for. This is what the book has been building up to — and we’ve seen some pretty amazing things on the way.
We’ve seen powerful sermons, and riveting dialogues, and thousands of conversions. We’ve seen everything from miracles that infuriate the Jewish aristocracy to the salvation of a successful businesswoman to prison sentences that end in wild escape. We’ve seen insane character developments like when Paul is knocked off his horse and then converted to lead a moment he was trying to destroy. We’ve seen religious controversy and political trials and sea-voyage adventures. We’ve seen suspenseful decision-making, and even shipwreck to an unknown island where we find natives who are kind and snakes that bite. Sometimes Jesus’s messengers were mistaken as gods, other times they were killed by the sword. Sometimes they were stoned to death, other times they were stoned but survived. There have been disputes among the good guys, ironic encounters, affectionate goodbyes. The gospel has seriously turned the world upside down, everywhere from the scruffy silversmith in Ephesus who owned an idol-making business to the highest court of the world superpower.
We’ve seen it all, and it’s been amazing, and the book ends with Paul in his rented apartment simply talking to people about Jesus. That is the last image Luke gives us.