Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 12: Vision at Troas

Vision at Troas (to go to Macedonia), Luigi Cochetti Act 16:6 - 10 (now with Silas and Timothy)

Vision at Troas (to go to Macedonia), Luigi Cochetti, Act 16:6 – 10 (now with Silas and Timothy)

Acts 16:6 – 10

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Birhynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.  So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.  Durigh the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.


At first glance, our familiarity with images of angels bringing announcements might give us the view of the man hovering over the bed to be an angel.  But, notice that he has no wings.  Nor, is he in a cloud, such as Jesus, God the Father, the Virgin Mary are often depicted when interceding from heaven.  No, he stands in a fog with his yellow cloak billowing.  His left hand reaches out in supplication, and his right points toward Macedonia.

Near Paul’s feet is a cylindrical container filled with scrolls.  Verse 10 uses the pronouns “we” and “us”.  Previous passages described events in the third-person, “Paul and Barnabas”, et al.  Who is “we”?  Tradition names Luke as the recorder of the history of Jesus and the Apostles.  His gospel is the most detailed in the events.  Thus, tradition has Luke continuing his biographical role by having him travel with Paul, and writing the Acts of the Apostles somewhere around 70 to 80 ACE, after Peter’s and Paul’s martyrdoms.  The scrolls allude to Luke’s notes, from which he would later compile the church history.

P1010913My favorite story about Luke, which I learned about while researching our trip to Rome, was that he was foremost a painter.  In addition to writing his gospel and apostolic history, he painted everything from the nativity through the crucifixion and early martyrdoms.  Here is a panel in the museum at Santa Maria Maggorie, showing Luke painting a Madonna and Child.  Luke’s portrait-portrait is the panel on the right.  What I missed in the Baptist church!


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 12: Vision at Troas

  1. KerryCan says:

    I like to read your analysis of these paintings–they get me to look again and pay more attention to the details!

  2. Your posts – and paintings – give a whole other aspect to the New Testament. Thank you, Oscar!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      You are welcome. I look forward to continue this series of posts. I will invision your smile each Sunday… Next time you go on one of those silent retreats, see if you can find a room with paintings on the walls. 🙂

      • I don’t remember any paintings on the walls of my tiny cell of a room at he convent. (Actually, the rooms are brighter and more pleasant than some expensive hotel rooms in Europe). But there are interesting paintings on the main floor — some religious, some not.

      • hermitsdoor says:

        I was thinking of the paintings that Fra Angelico did in his monastic cell in Florence 🙂

  3. Oh! Aren’t they wonderful, Oscar? Did I tell you how, my first time at the Uffizi, my head hurt with all the paintings of Christ bleeding and Mary mourning, but then I went to see Fra Angelico’s paintings and — wow! They took my breath away. I always think of him and Boticelli as innovators because they broke away from the heavy, dark style of the period and did something completely different.

This Hermit's Door is Open: Step in & Share Your Opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s