22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain — for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while — 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. (Romans 15).
Up to that point in time Paul had been repeatedly thwarted from traveling to Rome because of ministry opportunities constantly availing themselves among Gentiles throughout Asia Minor. Now he is hindered because of a ministry opportunity to believing Jews in the city of Jerusalem. He must go there “serving the saints” through the delivery of a contribution for the poor.
Throughout his life Paul was primarily devoted to a ministry to the Gentiles, and yet he always dearly loved his believing fellow countrymen, who like he, were delivered from a works-righteousness religion apart from the Messiah. Therefore, writing this from Corinth, he was willing to travel over 800 miles back to Jerusalem, when he was already barely 600 miles from Rome—in the opposite direction. How much easier it would have been just to go on to Rome, and let someone else deliver the contribution to Jerusalem. And yet, he did not. Instead, he did the hard thing—because to him it was the right thing.
Lord, help us This Day to do the hard thing, when we know it is the right thing. Amen.