TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18                     ACTS 28:23-31                            SHANE MULLIN

23 On the day scheduled for this purpose, many people came to the place where he was staying. From morning until evening,
he explained and testified concerning God’s kingdom and tried to convince them about Jesus through appealing to the Law
from Moses and the Prophets. 24 Some were persuaded by what he said, but others refused to believe. 25 They disagreed with
each other and were starting to leave when Paul made one more statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke correctly when he said to
your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, 26 Go to this people and say: You will hear, to be sure, but never understand; and
you will certainly see but never recognize what you are seeing. 27 This people’s senses have become calloused, and they’ve
become hard of hearing, and they’ve shut their eyes so that they won’t see with their eyes or hear with their ears or
understand with their minds, and change their hearts and lives that I may heal them. 28 “Therefore, be certain of this: God’s
salvation has been sent to the Gentiles. They will listen!” Paul’s ministry in Rome 30 Paul lived in his own rented quarters for
two full years and welcomed everyone who came to see him. 31 Unhindered and with complete confidence, he continued to
preach God’s kingdom and to teach about the Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently heard someone say that some people “wear” wisdom, because the wisdom they have accumulated over time
“clothes” them as they travel through life. Today’s scripture passage closes the book of Acts with an affirmation of the Apostle
Paul’s special calling to share the Good News about Jesus with non-Jewish (Gentile) peoples. This is a calling he received
earlier in Acts, not long after he encounters Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-20). When Paul (who was then called
‘Saul’) meets Jesus his entire life is altered, and his life takes a different path than the one he had mapped out for himself. The
affirmation of his calling to primarily share Jesus with the Gentiles is demonstrative of the wisdom that God has given him to
wear. As we come closer to Christmas, may we prepare ourselves to be changed by Jesus as he is born, and wear the wisdom
that comes from encountering the Christ child.

Prayer: For wisdom to clothe us.