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Posts Tagged ‘The Hobbit’

Verses 31-32: “and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.””

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” – Sherlock Holmes, Chapter 6, p.111, The Sign of the Four (got this from https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes).

As Sherlock Holmes so wryly explained, when you take off all other factors of something (prejudices, societal designations, stigmas, labels, opinions, etc.), the only thing left is the truth. That is just what Agrippa and Festus conclude once they bring Paul’s presentation to an end by standing up and leaving the room. After some side discussion with Festus, Agrippa gives Festus his opinion (which Festus had asked for). The verdict: not guilty. No other decision could be reached; they said it plainly: “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.” Agrippa further states ironically, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Remember, Paul had his travel plans arranged already…not by Festus, who you might say was the conductor in this case…but by the Lord, the One who is taking Paul on the Holy Express to witness in Rome. As the narrator of the animated cartoon The Hobbit once sang, “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.”

More to come!

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Verse 16: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

In the Rankin-Bass production of The Hobbit (one of the first VHS tapes I ever bought), there is a scene after Gandalf, Bilbo, and the dwarves are rescued by the eagles and deposited outside the Forest of Mirkwood. Fretting over how foreboding and dangerous the forest looked, Gandalf reassured them to follow the path on the map, and it would take them straight through safely. “Do not stray from the track, or you will never get out of Mirkwood.” Gandalf cautioned them. Obviously it didn’t take much coaxing to convince the company to follow Gandalf’s instructions.

In that scene, staying on the safe path keeps one safe from the dangers around them. This is a similar analogy to what Paul cautions here. Only by trusting in Jesus and walking in the Spirit, do we avoid the temptations and the situations that could lead to sin. Think about all that surrounds us on earth today. The temptation to sin is a powerful tool that the devil wields against us; we can’t fight that by ourselves, but only through the help of the Lord. One of the ways the Lord helps us avoid those situations is by instructing us to walk “the straight and narrow” path.

Something to think about.

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