For several years, Paul had worked mainly in the countries now called Greece and Turkey. The names of some of these regions at that time are familiar to Bible readers today; they include Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10), Galatia and Asia (2 Corinthians 1:8 - Asia was then the name of a smaller region round Ephesus).
Paul believed that his work in those regions had now finished. God, who had guided him to those places, was guiding him elsewhere. There was still plenty of work for other Christian leaders to do in those regions, of course. However, perhaps churches now existed in most of the principal towns and cities. So Paul made himself ready to go to another region, Spain, where no Christians had yet gone. The people there needed the gospel, God's message about Christ, very much (Matthew 28:19-20). The gospel is God's message to the whole world (1:14-16).
Paul was very sure that God was sending him to another place. He even told the church leaders at Ephesus that they would never again see his face (Acts 20:25). In this passage in Romans, Paul seems to have definite plans. After he has been to Jerusalem, he will come to Rome, and then to Spain. However in that speech in Ephesus, just a few weeks later, Paul's plans seem much more uncertain. By then, the Holy Spirit had shown him that, in every place, Paul must expect troubles, and to be in prison (Acts 20:23).
We know from Acts 28:11-31 that Paul did reach Rome, as a prisoner. The Bible does not record whether or not he reached Spain.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.