In part two of this series, I focused on the first four books of the New Testament, the gospel accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. It is now time to turn attention to the remainder of the New Testament. Following the four Gospels is The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts. As I mentioned previously, Acts is a companion volume to the Gospel according to Luke. Beginning with the ascension of Jesus, it continues with an account of events leading to the formation of the early church. Pivotal to the story is the conversion of Saul, persecutor of early Christians, into the believer Paul, fervent preacher of the word. Acts provides details of Paul’s three missionary journeys into Asia Minor and beyond, ending with his imprisonment in Rome.
One of my favorite passages in Acts occurs in Chapter 16. The narrator tells how Paul chose Timothy to join him in the work, describing their travels. Verses 7 through 10 read, “When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.”