It seems a perfect follow up to the study of Acts from the Fall. It is fun to speculate with the scholars about whether the eloquent Apollos or the encouraging Barnabas wrote this book. For now I do not think it was Paul.
Richard D. Phillips suggests that this book was most likely written to Jewish Christians living in Rome in the A.D. 60’s. These were the ones that God had Paul heading to Rome to encourage in faith.
With the audience in mind it is easy to see why it opens with “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophes, but in the last days he has spoken to us by his Son,…”
Having come through the persecution of Christianity under Claudius in A.D. 49, these Christians were facing another wave of dangerous hostility and evidently were now tempted to escape the suffering by reverting to Judaism and renouncing their loyalty to Jesus.
I am anxious to see Christ unfolded in all His Supremacy and to believe again that He has dealt with the core issue that separates us from God in a way that no other religion offers. This study will be another journey of seeing with the eyes of faith what is real (Hebrew 2:8).
When I do not “see” reality–that everything is subject to Prophet, Priest and King Jesus; I live in unbelief and there the ground is fertile for growing hefty branches of ugly, sinful heart attitudes!
“Lord I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)