Acts 21:10-14 (HCSB)
10 While we were staying there many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into Gentile hands.’ ”12 When we heard this, both we and the local people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”14 Since he would not be persuaded, we stopped talking and simply said, “The Lord’s will be done!”
On Sunday we talked about Jesus, knowing his fate, but pushing through anyway. Paul was given divine warning of what was coming his way…and pushed through. It is a common theme in the Scriptures: valuing something beyond oneself and making sacrifice. Whether we’re talking about Joseph’s valuing integrity and therefore staying in prison, or Priscilla and Aquila “risking their necks” for Paul, sacrificing for what and who we value is a common biblical theme.
I think back to our own history. The pilgrims come to mind this time of year. We’re here and free to speak the name of Jesus because of their sacrifice. Or think of the soldiers that died for the value of all men being equal. 150 years ago today Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address: “It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced.”
We have inherited a great legacy. We have a legacy to continue. In the church and in our nation…