I can’t help but wonder about the ending of Acts. We aren’t told the reasoning as to why, but Luke ends his second volume of all that Jesus began to do and teach rather abruptly and with these words, “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” (28:31). We aren’t told what happens to Paul. We aren’t told about his trial before Caesar. We aren’t told what happens to Luke or any of the others who traveled with him. We venture a guess historically, that 2 Timothy was written either during or after his imprisonment in
Rome. I think there is much to be said though for what Luke doesn’t say. He ends his book with Paul doing what he was commissioned to do, preach about Jesus and teach about the kingdom of God. The mission of the church has always been about proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. And Luke ends Acts with the church’s greatest missionary doing just that. An observation I made early on from chapter one was the mention of the phrase “ kingdom of God.” In the opening chapter of this great book, Luke records the phrase twice. I think it is no coincidence that Luke closes his work with mention of the kingdom of God twice. I see something of a revolution in these words. Again, the highest authorities in the Roman world have been Caesar, and any threat or question to his authority or his rule would have landed someone in the grave. Way back in Daniel we are told of a vision that Daniel has of rock growing and replacing the kingdoms of the world that were in power, well here at the end of Acts we are reminded about the rule of God over and in this world by Luke’s mention of “the kingdom of God.” Here in the greatest city of the Roman Empire, Paul was preaching about the rule and reign of God more or less challenging the reign of Caesar. Yes, in Paul’s letter to the Romans he will tell them to obey the laws of the land, but Paul wrote about and believed that in Jesus God’s kingdom had broken into the world in Jesus Christ was continuing to break into the world through the proclamation of the gospel, through proclaiming the One raised from the dead. Where I once worried about Luke’s abrupt ending, I see as Luke telling us that King had come to claim what was rightfully His. Luke’s ending was written with a smile on his face and fire in his heart. I also think as we close out our time together in Acts to remind us that Acts is the Story of Jesus’ continued presence in the world through the church. Even though the canonical Acts has 28 chapters because we are also apart of the Story of Jesus’ continuing presence in the world though the church, we are Acts chapter 29. I close with a question for all of us, will you let God write you into His Story by joining what He is already doing in the world through the church?