18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. 21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. 23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.
Verse 18 is a perfect definition of repentance. Our belief in the truth of Christ causes us to come, confess, disclose our sinful ways, and turn away from them. The 50,000 pieces of silver represents an equivalence of about 140 years worth of wages for the common worker. This is how much they collected and burned in books. How much money have we wasted in turning our backs on the Lord? How much are we still holding onto because we refuse to let go .
In verse 20, we see the phrase “the word of the Lord.” The original Greek, logos, is what is used here to describe what is happening. This is the same “word” used in the beginning of John 1:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
We aren’t just talking about written scriptures here. Luke’s intention is to explain that the knowledge and being of God was spreading and reaching those who had not yet heard of it and it was prevailing. Too often we actually diminish the meaning of this word, “word,” because we think it just means the written scriptures, but it is so much more than that! Logos represents the core truth of things. It may be written in black and white but logos more importantly represents the spoken word. It is the motivation behind the spoken and written word. It is the reason why physical words exist. If we recognize common language as a way to express thoughts, feelings, and principles of life, then logos is the motivation behind trying to express these things. It is the reason why you express it. In calling Jesus the Word, John is describing Him as the source and reason for all things. And He prevails.
As he continues to prevail, He purposes us through the Holy Spirit for the tasks at hand. Our godly purposes on earth aren’t a once and done thing. He is constantly pushing us forward, like troops in battle, to take more ground for His Kingdom. Jesus is the general and the Holy Spirit is the Sergeant Major who gives the orders. When the bible talks about “The Way” in regards to how people act, behave, and walk according to God’s precepts. This of course was distinguishable apart from how the Pharisees were in those times (who also claimed to walk in the ways of Jehovah). Here, the original Greek word hodos represents not just a path nor a particular way of “walking” but a purposed journey altogether. To put it all together, we can see it as a purposed direction by which we not only move, but focus our entire being into the journey of arriving at the proposed destination. Everything you do is motivated by the journey you are on. This is what Jesus calls us to follow Him into.
If you are going on a long-term trek, you will do your best to plan everything out from how you will plan your food, what will guide your direction, even to the kind of socks you are going to wear. Hikers know this very well, as their clothing, pack, and weight of their load are all very important features. Furthermore, they must do a little pre-planning to know what conditions they will face so they can be prepared. To some this might mean checking the weather forecast and to others learning how to make a proper shelter to protect them from the elements along the way. In our journey of following Christ, our research comes from reading the bible and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is from the Spirit that we get our next coordinates. This doesn’t just refer to physical location, but also to whom we should go and about what we should speak. When Jesus says, “follow Me,” we do it through His Spirit.
As Luke trails of in his thoughts he mentions there weren’t any troubles at that time. We will see, however, in the very next verse troubles arise again. Our lulls in spiritual battle are brief. Our spiritual enemies are persistent and work to tire us out. We must continue to work and fight, not stopping for long periods during our journey. It’s worth the pain and struggle because we are working our way to eternal rest. Our rest will not just be physical, but also emotional and spiritual. It is what we have to look forward to and what keeps us going, knowing that just over the crest of the hill we will get to experience what we have been working towards. What has the Holy Spirit purposed for you to do today?