February 22, 2014

Paul the Traveler

Romans 15:23-29

After I have completed this task … I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.
—Romans 15:28-29


We are so used to motorized travel today that it can be difficult to imagine traveling long distances on foot or on sailing ships, as Paul did. Many of us like to hike for fun, but we would not even think of walking several miles just to get to work. It would take too much time and physical energy.

In a time long before engines and electricity, the apostle Paul traveled a great deal. That must have been tiring, and it proba-bly required lots of patience. So when we read that Paul longed to see the believers in Rome on his way to Spain, we can better understand his anticipation.

Paul’s journeys were hard not only because of the distance but also because of resistance to the gospel message, the good news that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Though groups of believers gathered to hear him, there was often conflict with local political and religious leaders. Paul wrote about this in another letter: “I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers” (2 Corinthians 11:26). And yet Paul pushed on. His goal was nothing less than to share in “the full measure of the blessing of Christ.”

In your journey, what trials have you faced? Why?

Dear Lord, thank you for prophets, apostles, and teachers who have served you faithfully. May my goal also be to share your good news with others. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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