Bible Study, Catholic, Catholicism, Christianity

Bible 1 Yr – Day 100 – “And so we came to Rome.”

Today we read about Paul’s arrival in Rome after his harrowing journey. This journey has taken several months, it has included a ship wreck and many stop overs. On one such stopover in Malta, Paul has cured many sick. Upon arrival in Rome, Paul is allowed to live by himself with only one soldier guarding him. No doubt at this point Paul could have escaped many times and his preaching and healing of the sick would be well known to the guards that transported him. We don’t know if he soldiers converted but upon his arrival in Rome they have likely reported that Paul is not a threat. Thus as a Roman citizen he is given the softest treatment.

One thing that is interesting to note is that both in Puteoli and Rome we find Paul visited by “brothers”, people that have already been converted to Christianity. It is most likely that they were converted by Peter, who reports in his letters that he is in “Babylon” which is a Jewish code word for Rome.

We also find that the Jews of Palestine have not sent on warnings or charges against Paul. This will also allow Paul to operate for a long while free from scrutiny. Most likely, after Paul left for Rome, the Jerusalem authorities were just happy to see him go, knowing it would be many years before he could make a complete round trip.

What is also interesting is that the local Jewish leaders have also heard of this growing sect of Judaism and are interested in learning about it. They ask Paul to explain it to them. It is interesting to see how this happens. The text says that Paul spends the entire day “from morning until evening” explaining it. This is not some simple message being boiled down to the lowest common denominator, Paul is going into detail. This suggests that Paul is thoroughly expiating the Old Testament explaining how all details corroborate each other and are fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

Notice, it then says that “some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.” When you think about it this is a surprising thing. Paul is the greatest evangelist, selected by the risen Jesus himself to spread the Gospel to the entire world. In his younger days he was a Pharisee, trained under the greatest rabbi of the era and undoubtedly was a master of the Old Testament scriptures. But despite having the Gospel explained to them by the greatest of the great evangelists some still do not believe.

Why?

Paul explains, while they are walking out, that for some their hearts have “grown dull”.

25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them. ‘

28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

What does it mean when someone’s heart had “grown dull”? We have heard similar phrases in the bible of people who have been bind to the Lord working in their lives. We have heard it said that their “hearts grew hard” or that the Jews are a “stiff necked people”. Young’s literally translation of this passage is that “made gross was the heart of this people”. There is no easy answer as to what prevented some from converting. These were at least superficially pious men. Leaders of the Jewish community in Rome, they no doubt prayed and followed tradition. Yet even with Paul detailing all of the scripture for them they refused to see what was right in front of their eyes. How did they explain away passage after passage that came to alive in the life of Jesus? How did they ignore verse after verse that was corroborated by another book or another prophecy? We are not given an exact answer in the text. Instead it stands as a warning to us, don’t be like them, don’t deny what can be shown from the scripture.

12 thoughts on “Bible 1 Yr – Day 100 – “And so we came to Rome.””

  1. Agreed, but interpretation, is the issue everyone has a hermeneutical method, and how they interpret the church, Christ, theology, how they presupposed this theology will drive your theology. I will give you an example if your catholic you will see verses that drive your theology and vice versa!

    1. The Catholic interpretation has been passed down from the time Christ founded His Church on St. Peter. When did your interpretation become more wise than the original Apostles? How many interpret the same exact way that you do? Your interpretation of everything infers Heaven, Christ, God, and the teachings are sheer chaos. They are not. God is not whatever you want Him to be. He is.

      1. Ever think Jon Musso is the one misinterpreting Scripture, Church teaching, and the lot?

  2. With all due respect why are you so bitter? I can’t see this is how Catholics leaders want any one to be bitter. God bless u.

    1. You’re quite literally the one attacking every last blog of Brother VT’s. Why are you so anti-Catholic?

    2. I really hope you go talk to some one. a priest, some one who can help you relax even if you were right which you aren’t but for conversation purposes let’s say you were,is this the way to convert me to criticize my faith, to call me names, to attack me! I have fallen into this trap also,so I’m not playing the martyr, but I realize this is not honoring God, you think I’m wrong ok, you think I have faulty teaching ok, so show me where I’m wrong even if I will never change my mind, that not what your called to do your called to love me to honor the name of Christ, and if I’m wrong hey I will have to stand in front of God for not listening to your view of the gospel, and have to answer, for it! My training as a pastor tell me your anger comes from some where outside of my post. Again who care what I believe I’m a heretic. go to Dave a priest a counselor, because your responses toward me are not in line with the word of God. Trust me no catholic, Protestant, or any faith agree that you should be attack my faith with anger to promote yours.

      God bless you Justin!

      1. This is a blog with Protestant, and catholic I thought there would be many different opinions. you should have a blog for just Catholics than you all can agree. I’m a evangelical pastor what did you think you were going to get a catholic view point.

  3. Now, now, play nice.

    Jon, you make a excellent point, everyone has a hermeneutic. However, the Catholic Church embraces ALL of them. A Catholic can say that he believes in salvation by grace alone, as long as he does not extend that teaching to deny the proper role of good works. A Catholic can say that he believes in predestination, as long as he does not extend that teaching to deny the proper role of free will. A Catholic can say he believes in free will, as long as he does not extend that teaching to limit God’s sovereignty. A Catholic can say that he believes in the necessity of baptism and sacraments as long as he does not extend that teaching to make baptism required when it is not possible. A Catholic can say that he believes in “no salvation outside the Church” as long as he does not extend that teaching to mean that a person incapable of joining the Church is automatically condemned to hell.

    This is the same as the point I was trying to make to you the other day about the Catholic Church being the fullness and therefore by definition every other church must be something less. The Catholic Church balances all the hermeneutics and interprets them to fit together seamlessly. That is what so wonderful about it – one can see the hand of God in how all these ideas can be so perfectly harmonized into one theology that is supported perfectly by scripture. The error of every other church is emphasize one hermeneutic to much over the others.

    Justin is talking about something equally as important – the church has a name for it – the hermeneutic of continuity. In other words, I want to believe what the Apostles believed and taught. My interpretation must be in harmony with them. Thus, I can look to the writing of the Church Fathers and see how they explained what the Apostles told them. The church fathers are not scripture but if the all explain something in the same way I can be confident that that is how the Apostles explained it. Thus I can know that interpretation being taught today is the same as was taught by the Apostles.

    1. Good point! I never meant to insult you at all Dave. The truth is you have challenged me to think deeper. yes these post can get heated because your tearing away at people foundations, but this blog has strengthened my faith not hurt it, and even if you both hold to a few different, views than me I like to believe we serve the same God!

      God bless

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