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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Proportionality

If you have studied Acts you know that it is the account of the leading of the Holy Spirit in the development and spread of the Christian message first through Peter and then through the missionary journeys of Paul.
Proportionality
The book forms a background for most of the rest of the New Testament.  All of Paul’s epistles with the exception of the Pastoral Epistles can be tied to events in Acts.

I want to propose a question for you.  One of the principles in understanding a book is the law of proportionality.  That is events or sequences that proportionally take up more of an author’s focus are thus emphasized in the book.  An example of this is the Gospel of John.  The gospel covers roughly three years of Jesus’ life and ministry.  Chapters 13 – 17 cover roughly 6 hours, nearly a fourth of John’s gospel.  Looking at the content, one realizes that the meat of the book is in those 5 chapters.

Acts is similar.  Most times through the book I tend to focus on the missionary journeys.  I look at how Paul’s passion for the gospel plays out during each of those efforts.  Additionally, I look at what he did to equip those who were traveling with him, specifically Timothy, I look for the “things” he learned from Paul in the presence of many witnesses (2 Timothy 2:2).

But that is not the longest part of the book.

Acts 21:27 – 28:31 covers the arrest, imprisonment, and transport of Paul to Rome.  The missionary journeys are covered in a total of about four and a half chapters.  This part of Paul’s life takes seven of the chapters Luke penned for us.

So my question is, why?  Why invest so much space and detail to something that on the surface does not seem to be as important as the spreading of the gospel all over the Mediterranean?

What do you think?

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