Without Hindrance

David Bast

Read: Acts 28:17-31

[Paul] lived there . . . proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (v. 31)

Wait a minute, that’s it? This is how Acts ends? Luke says that the apostle spent two years under a loose sort of house arrest, preaching and teaching the gospel boldly and without hindrance. In fact the phrase “without hindrance” is a single word in Greek, and it’s literally the last word in the book of Acts.

But how could Luke leave us hanging like that? What happened to Paul? Was he acquitted as he expected (cf. Phil. 1:25)? Did he reach Spain with the gospel, as he hoped and had mentioned to the church in Rome (Rom. 15:28)? Tradition says yes, that Paul was released by Caesar. Tradition also says that he traveled for two more years before he returned to Rome, was rearrested, and executed during the violent persecution of the church by Nero inAD 64.

But Luke doesn’t say. He simply ends with Paul still in custody, preaching the gospel day in and day out. Perhaps he did that because Acts really isn’t Paul’s story, it’s the gospel’s. And the story of the gospel is open-ended. Gospel ministers come and go, even the greatest ones. But the gospel goes on and on, without hindrance. There is a church-planting network in the United States today called Acts 29. That’s a good reminder. Now it’s our turn to carry on the story of the gospel, with all boldness and without hindrance. —David Bast

Prayer: I praise you, Lord, that nothing stops your Word. May I live in Acts chapter 29.