Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
Prosperous is the compound Greek word euodoo from eu and hodos. Eu means good and hodos means a way or road travelled. Blue Letter Bible’s lexicon defines euodoo this way: “to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way.”
A lexicon is there to aid you in your study. Do not allow the lexicon to do your study. Sometimes a lexicon will only see the definition of the denomination they represent. Sometimes they will only see the immediate context of one verse. Other times they will aid you with something you did not see. The point is, a lexicon is a tool of the workman, it is not the workman.
Now, did Paul have a prosperous journey to Rome?
Honestly, it is not a fair question to ask at this point, his journey is not complete. He still has approximately 130 miles to Rome when he lands in Puteoli, Italy. So, you have some time to think about it. I will ask the question again later.
And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. And from thence we fetched a compass and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so, we went toward Rome.
As they accomplish these final miles to Rome, Julius once again shows himself as a friend to Paul, as they stop for seven days to be with believers.
Why did they stop?
The Greek word translated “desired” is parakaleo, which means to call to one’s side with the intent of encouraging. The “we” refers to the believers in Puteoli that invited Paul and company to spend a week with them. You might think they are on a vacation with the opportunity to spend a week in the Italian countryside. You certainly do not have the mindset of Roman soldiers leading a group of prisoners to Rome for punishment or trial.
There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them…
New International Version
There we found some brothers who invited us to spend the week with them.
Berean Standard Bible
There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
After spending a week with the believers in Puteoli they proceeded toward Rome.
and so we went toward Rome.
But word spread quickly that Paul had arrived in Italy. It must have looked like a returning hero’s triumphant march to Rome.
And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and the three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
Appii (Appius) is 90 miles from Puteoli and only 40 miles from Rome. Then the Three Rivers Tavern is only 30 miles from Rome and the brethren have come out to meet Paul.
Let me remind you, because these last verses certainly did not, that this is a column of Roman soldiers bringing prisoners to trial or to serve punishment in Rome. They have been on the road to Rome at least nine months, perhaps longer. They have endured what was a very vicious storm on the Mediterranean Sea, even suffering a fierce shipwreck, and now, after a week’s vacation as they arrived in Italy, they are now being welcomed like conquering hero’s as they walk the Appian Way (Via Appia).
And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
The word suffered means permitted or allowed and later in the chapter we will learn that he is dwelling in his own hired house. So, Paul made it to Rome. He is not in prison, but in his own hired house. Yet, he is still chained to a soldier, he is a prisoner and will have to have a trial once again.
The rules for guarding prisoners like Paul varied. The guard rotation could be every four hours, every six hours, or every twelve hours. Yet, the guard with him was required to be always chained to him. The chain could either be a wrist or an ankle chain.
And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together…
It would take most people longer than three days to find a place to live and set up their house before inviting in a group of guests. Yet, Paul is inviting the dignitaries of Judaism in Rome to his home to discuss his situation.
But before we come to Paul’s outreach in Rome, I would like to return to my earlier question about Paul’s journey.
Do you think Paul had a prosperous journey to Rome?
It was in Corinth, in 58 A.D., when Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans that he had made a request for a prosperous journey to Rome. It was Paul’s prayer or desire to God. It is now 61 A.D. and Paul has only just arrived in Rome, under arrest.
How would you go about deciding if his journey was prosperous?
The word euodoo is only used four times in God’s Word. This occurrence in Romans 1:10 is the first use. This first use does not really give us a sense of the word euodoo.
1 Corinthians 16:2
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
The words “hath prospered him” is the Greek word euodoo. The verse tells us the one giving the prosperity is God. This is not about a journey as in miles travelled, but in living life. How has God prospered you this past week in crops, in business, in family, in life?
This is shared abundance. It recognizes that all you have is by the blessing of God and by giving some back for the benefit of others you acknowledge that God has prospered you and will continue to bless your life and endeavors.
The time frame is also very nice. I can remember what has happened or the events of the last seven days, everything is fresh in my mind. Our culture sets aside one day a year that we call Thanksgiving. God receives thanks for all His blessings, but the only specifics mentioned are if big events took place during the year, like a wedding, or a new birth, or some other major event.
But doing this weekly keeps the blessings of God fresh in your heart and mind. Weekly would build your relationship with God as you spent so much more time with Him, thanking Him, and recognizing His presence in your daily life.
2 Corinthians 8:12-15
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
The heart of shared abundance is sharing with others as God has shared His abundance with you.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
The words “be followers” is mimetes, which means imitators. In the last teaching we talked briefly about walking in Paul’s steps. Well, these are the ultimate steps to walk in, the footprints of God.
So, what was Paul saying to the Corinthians in chapter sixteen verse two?
First, Paul is showing them that their prosperity comes from God and that they can freely share of their abundance because God is going to continue to share with them of His abundance.
How has God prospered your life this week, can you set some of that aside to help others who did not see that prosperity in their life.
3 John 2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Euodoo is used twice in this verse and once again we see the figure of speech polyptoton bring emphasis to a believer’s prosperity.
The word “above” is the Greek word peri which means concerning. Concerning all things in or pertaining to the life of a believer, the Apostle John is saying he wished (or prays) for prosperity. John is speaking for God who “wishes” that all the believers prospered.
How strong of a wish is this?
The first place this word for wish is used is in Acts chapter twenty-six when Paul responds to King Agrippa’s words that he is almost persuaded to be a Christian.
And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
The word “would” is the same Greek word as wish. How strong was Paul’s desire to see everyone that heard him that day believe God?
What have we learned about the word prosperous as we have looked at and considered these verses of scripture?
We just learned from God’s Word that prosperity comes from God, concerning, peri, all areas of life. The word for “soul” is psyche, and it means the whole man, your mind, your heart, your thoughts, all that you set your hand to. God wants you to have prosperity in every way, and then you as a, mimetes, imitator of your Father by sharing your prosperity with others. Not so you have lack, because God does not lack when He prospers another, but that others are lifted up, so that there is an equality and there is no lack.
Has Paul’s journey from Corinth to Rome been prosperous?
We did not cover this section when they were on the ship, so let’s look at it now.
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
How had God prospered Paul that week, he had a visit from an angel who delivered to him Paul’s Word and life and deliverance for all who were on the ship. Paul shared this prosperity with those who lacked and were afraid of dying.
And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
With the words from the angel that Paul shared their minds went from all hope being lost to having good cheer and all 276 people on the ship, even those who could not swim, reached Melita safely.
Has Paul had the opportunity to freely speak God’s Gospel of Grace concerning His son? Has he had the opportunity to minister the power of God to others in need of God’s blessing? God delivered him from the angry mob and from the Sanhedrin, God delivered him from the forty men who vowed to kill him. God delivered him from the plot to kill him as he left Corinth. God delivered him from the massive storm. God delivered him from the venomous snake bite. Does he have his health? Has he had food to eat? Has he had the blessing and fellowship of other like-minded believers? Has he had the fellowship of friends, like Julius?
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
I do not know what answer others may give, but I would say Paul has had a prosperous journey to Rome. It took a long time, but he has arrived to welcoming crowds in more than one city along the way to Rome.
Now Paul sits down with the Jewish leadership of Rome.
…and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men, and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
Paul, acting quickly, moves to speak the truth in the face of any accusing letter the Sanhedrin may have sent to Rome.
What is the hope Paul spoke of to these leaders?
It is the Messiah. The Messiah has come!
And they said unto him, we neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
No letters and no person from Jerusalem have spoken ill of Paul.
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging…
They opened the door for Paul to share the greatness of the grace of God in this administration.
…to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Paul and the Jewish leadership of Rome had a day in God’s Word.
“Expounded” is the Greek word ektithemi and it means to set out or place out, to exhibit. Paul was taking Old Testament verses of scripture and setting them out before these leaders. The word “testified” is the Greek word diamartyromai, which means to testify, to attest, to solemnly affirm, to confirm a thing. The prefix intensifies the martys, to be a witness.
And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
The same results everyone receives everywhere. Some believe and some do not. But this time it is different. There is more to this situation since we are at the close of the Book of Acts.
I have said in many previous teachings posted that between each administration there is a time of transition. The transition into the Administration of Grace ends with Paul’s release from his Roman arrest. We will see more on this in the next teaching.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Textus Receptus, King James Version, has the Greek word hemon for the English word “our” and that is its meaning, our. But the Critical Greek text has the Greek word humon which means “your.” It is like what Stephen said in Acts chapter seven.
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Your fathers persecuted the prophets and now you have murdered the Messiah! This was the beginning of the end for Israel. It is with the witness of Stephen that God informs Israel that He is going to hold the Revealing Administration in abeyance. Why? Their hearts are too hard, they are uncircumcised. This generations eyes are blinded by the Adversary. If God proceeds with the Revealing Administration a vast number of Israel will perish under judgment. That is not the desire or will of God. Remember, God’s will is that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. He has no desire to lose the majority of Israel to judgment.
In verse fifty-one Stephen said the Council resisted the Holy Spirit, speaking of God. Paul opens his quote of Isaiah with “Well spake the Holy Spirit of you…” The nautical term, “a shot across the bow” is a warning shot. This is not exactly a warning shot; it is a get your attention shot. From the condemning words of Stephen to Israel, draw a line straight to Acts 28 when Israel divorces themselves from the grace and blessings of God.
Jesus gave Israel a warning shot when he quoted the same verse as Paul from Isaiah.
Therefore, speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
During his ministry Jesus quoted the same verses from Isaiah about the hardness of their hearts.
There is an orientalism concerning a punishment during ancient times. It concerned the spreading of a certain wax over an enemy’s eyes so that he could see but never clearly, like having a cataract. God is saying because of the hardness of their hearts their eyes have cataracts and they will not see.
When Acts chapter twenty-eight is concluded, the Administration of Grace begins in earnest. What do I mean by that statement? In Acts thirteen God began the transition into the Administration of Grace, but with the conclusion of Acts twenty-eight, or phrased another way, when Paul is released from his imprisonment the transition is over and the Age of Grace, the Administration of Grace begins.
It would have been amazing if God had inspired Luke to place the words of what Paul shared from morning until the evening to these Jewish leaders. What a teaching that must have been. Paul concludes this day in the Word by quoting Isaiah six.
… Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
The hardness of Israel is complete, and the Revealing Administration is over for this time, it is held in abeyance, until after the time of the mystery. It was not God who put the wax over their eyes so that even when seeing, they could not see. It was the Adversary who introduced the wax with lies those individuals willingly accepted and believed.
And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
God has always looked for circumcision of the heart from Israel. Not robotic rituals like that of an assembly line. But believing, from the heart, as they viewed the picture of deliverance and salvation that God had drawn in the Law.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
God is endeavoring to bless Israel. He has always strived to bless the descendants of Abraham. But it is impossible for Him to bless Israel while they continue to reject Him.
He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
If you reject Jesus, the Christ, you are rejecting the One who sent him, God.
Witnessing of the Revealing Administration will continue for the lifetimes of the twelve apostles and those who have believed their witness. But it is officially over until the end of the Administration of Grace. When those who believe the doctrine of the Apostle Paul are gathered together as declared in Thessalonians and Corinthians. At that time, after we are gathered, the conclusion of the Revealing Administration will take place. The judgment for sin and unrighteousness will see the wrath of God in the times of tribulation and the days of the antichrist.
Then, when these times of judgment are past, and the King returns, then the Revealing Administration will end. Why has this administration been called the Revealing? Because the one true King will be revealed when he returns from Heaven to claim his kingdom and his bride. Then shall Israel see a promise of God from Deuteronomy come to pass.
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Paul is standing on the edge of a cliff. A vast chasm stands before him, deep and wide. Paul is about to take a step onto what these Jewish leaders see as just air, no bridge, no support. He has called for the leaders to follow him, to join him as he steps out into the air. On this side of the chasm is a world of lies, deceit, and fear, but on the other side there is truth, integrity, and love. With an outstretched hand Paul beckons them onto the bridge.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead and the wax is gone as if scales fell from the eyes. Believe these things and it will be seen standing next to Paul is Jesus who will bring you across the chasm to meet his Father, and now, your Father.
©Auxano Ministry 2023