September 16, 2011

Saturday after the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Lectionary

Morning - Ps.147, 2 Sam. 11:14, Lk. 24:36
Evening - Ps. 148, 150, Rom. 15:17-33

Commentary
Romans 15:17-33

In this passage we come to the closing thoughts of the Epistle to the Romans. Consequently we see it turn from the doctrinal/practical subjects of the earlier chapters, to more personal concerns. Paul writes about his ministry to the Gentiles (15:17-21) to show that it is not lack of concern that has kept him from Rome thus far. Rather, he has been hindered by his work, the pressing need of seeing the churches established and furnished with able and faithful ministers kept him in the fields from Jerusalem to Illyrium. "But now having no more place in these parts" (15:23) means that the Church in these areas is prospering, and he is able to leave them and fulfill his great desire to visit and teach in Rome, which he will accomplish soon as part of a trip to Spain (15:24). This will be Paul's first trip to Rome, not the one in which he was executed about A.D.69. The events in the last few verses tell of Paul's preparations to go to Jerusalem. It was while in Jerusalem that he was arrested and sent to Rome as a prisoner around the year 60 A.D. He was released from Rome in 62 A. D. and many historians believe he made his way to Spain, preaching and establishing churches along the way. By 67 A.D. he was back in Rome, this time in the Mamertine prison, where he was executed in the fall or winter of 68-69 A.D.