Notes from Norman
By Norman P. Grubb
Now this precious man towards the end of his life saying, “Now I do want to come to you in Rome for one purpose. It would be a joy to be with you, I could confirm you in the faith and you could bless me. I have been hindered.” Because he had to fulfill his commission in Jerusalem—again, the negative turned to positive. He said, “I have to go to Jerusalem because I am responsible to get this gift to the precious Mother Church that I have been busy collecting from the Corinthians and the Macedonians and the Philippians, etc. It will be a bountiful gift to the precious Mother church. I want to fulfill that obligation and that blocks me for the time being. He didn’t see himself there. As it really turned out, God did it. He had to go to Jerusalem. Even the prophets told him that he shouldn’t go. He said, “Don’t break my heart, I have laid my life down for Jesus Christ; I have got to go.” And, that is what he did.
He laid his life down in a sense. The Jews turned on him and seized him and made him a prisoner. Under God’s guidance, he said, “I appeal to Caesar. I am a Roman citizen.” This was when they were going to judge him in Jerusalem. So, they sent him to Rome as a prisoner. While he was in prison in Rome, he wrote the prison epistles—Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. So, he continued to work for the Lord in Rome. He touched many in Caesar’s household. So, right in the heart of that (we would say) flesh-given people (we are all flesh-given people, he boldly preached the Gospel and then came this harvest in the Praetorian Guard in the household.
Then he said, “Why I come to you.” Here was this man beaten about and shipwrecked three times, spent a day in the deep, frozen starved, his body covered with the scars from a half a dozen beatings, imprisoned, stoned. Every time it was the Jews doing it. It wasn’t the heathen, usually. It was the Jews stirring up the heathen to do it. He said, “I must still go, for Spain hasn’t heard the Gospel.” I don’t know what they knew about Spain in those days.” I want you to help me on the way.” He wanted them to send a team along with him to Spain. “Oh, I live for the people who haven’t heard. I live for the next place that hasn’t heard.” Isn’t that marvelous!!! That is the man who wrote this letter. He asked for prayer that he should be delivered from the Jews who were persecuting him in Jerusalem.
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