I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
So how did Paul finally come to Rome? He speaks here, as he always does, with the full authority of an apostle. He is a herald of Jesus Christ, speaking with the knowledge of a prophet. He knows he’s headed there in God’s plan, but he doesn’t know how. He predicts “the fullness of the blessing of Christ.” We do know how he got there. As a jailbird. He got there in chains and was probably executed in the year 63, when the neurotic Nero unleashed his evil on the believers in Rome. Many folks would, in the end, say Paul was a fool. He obviously expected something grand and he got something awful. So much for apostles and prophets, they might say. But that attitude doesn’t understand God or how He works. That view doesn’t get the cross or why it’s there. It doesn’t understand Paul’s absolute confidence. It can’t imagine Paul looking at his prison walls and praising God. I know we’d rather shine like Olympic champions completing our record lap, but the way of following Christ is not the way the world works. The world doesn’t know the Scriptures or the power of God! Be careful of men who look strong and successful, beware yourself if that’s what you hope to become. The road of the cross leads to death here in this world. If you look for your fullness here, you won’t know the blessing He gives. And wherever you might be headed, I know where I want to go. I’ll even predict how I’ll get there – in the fullness of the blessing of Christ! Amen.