Paul in Rome
When we arrived in Rome, Paul was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier. Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, “Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence. But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people.
I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.”
They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you from anyone who has come here. But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.”
So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe.
And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, ‘Go and say to this people: When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’
So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”
For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.Acts 28:16-31
This is the last segment of Acts for us to deal with and then we have finished the book. I told you at the end of the last Gem that there are only these remaining sixteen verses to go before we complete the Book of Acts. After Acts I will return to writing the Bible Gems live and will work my way through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Over the last series of months I have been working on preparing all that i have worked on over the last years to make them compatible with my new website. http://bereaninsights.org. You will be able to access all I written over the last years, easily and quickly and all indexed and searchable and with hotlinks between referenced Gems ands Nuggets. There has been a massive amount of material to work on before the new website was launched. That is the prime reason why I have been reposting chosen past Gems.
This passage before us marks the end of Luke account of History II, the history of the spread of the Gospel by Jesus’ eye witnesses from Jerusalem to the end of the earth. In this case it went from the Jerusalem across Asia Minor to the centre of the Roman Empire. From there it was taken to the world by the great sailing fleets of Europe.
Now is the time for you to ask the questions which come to you as you read this final portion of Acts through a number of times. Although we are left with only sixteen verses there are some very interesting issues that arise. Not the least of which is the ending of the book. Keep your thinking cap on as you read these final verses and send me the questions you want answers to. Hopefully by now you will be able to deal with your questions yourself. That is why I have been writing the kinds of Bible Gems I have. In order to demonstrate how you yourself can understand the Bible at a deeper level simply by following a few simple principles.
One question to start you off, received from a number of you over the last weeks:
- Why if Paul was a prisoner did he have such freedom?
Notice also we have the final speech of Acts in this remaining segment. Paul’s final words to the local Jewish leaders.
Drill deep in order to irrigate widely.Anon
How can GOD take you forward if you become offended every time He addresses the lie that’s holding you back?Ian Vail
Your giftedness and grit dictate your potential, but your character will determine your legacy.Andy Stanley
When God gives direction we don’t need to understand or agree – we just need to obey!Joyce Meyer
Don’t insult God by dreaming small.Anon