While reading in Acts 21 this morning in my Spanish Bible, I noticed a phrase that immediately brought to my mind another passage. When I checked the Greek text of both passages to see if the second passage truly was similar, I discovered an illuminating parallel reference.
Acts 21:14 and Matthew 6:10
Luke records the believers’ response when Paul refused their efforts to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem:
Act 21:14 Y como no le pudimos persuadir, desistimos, diciendo: Hágase la voluntad del Señor.
Act 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Act 21:14 μὴ πειθομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ, ἡσυχάσαμεν εἰπόντες, Τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Κυρίου γενέσθω.
What these believers said closely parallels what Jesus taught us as His disciples to pray:
Mat 6:10 Venga tu reino. Hágase tu voluntad, como en el cielo, así también en la tierra.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:10 ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς·
The very close parallel between these statements in Acts 21:14 and Matthew 6:10 shows that these believers responded in a way that displayed where their ultimate allegiance lay—they wanted God’s will to be done on the earth. Their response suggests an important application for us as believers.
At times, we all will likely encounter a situation where our best efforts to persuade other believers not to pursue a certain course of action that will likely be harmful to them are rejected. In keeping with what Acts 21:14 reveals, we perhaps should not respond to them primarily by saying something like, “You’ll be sorry,” or “Don’t say you weren’t warned.”
Instead, based on Acts 21:14, we should respond mainly along the lines of what was said to Paul on this occasion: “The will of the Lord be done.” Such a statement will testify to the other believers that we are responding to their refusal by declaring our heeding the Lord’s teaching about the will of God being done on the earth.