Reading For Thursday Acts 28:11-30
After Paul and his companions had spent the winter on the island of Malta, they set sail again for Rome. The Christians in Rome hear that Paul has landed, and they travel to meet him. Paul has longed to see these Christians, and when he met them, he thanked God and took courage. Once in Rome, Paul is kept under house arrest. He lives in a rented home, and he is guarded by a single soldier. Three days after Paul is settled, he invites the local leaders of the Jewish community to meet him because he wants to plead his case and make them aware that neither the Jewish nor the Roman authorities have any valid litigation against him.
Paul recounted for them how the Romans examined him thoroughly and wanted to grant his freedom because they found no reason for the death penalty. However, since the Jews objected so strongly, he felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, but he desperately wanted to speak to these leaders in Rome. The Jewish leaders had not received any letters or evil reports and so they decided to listen to Paul concerning his views on this particular sect. They selected a day to hear him out, and many attended the residence where he was staying. He expounded from the scripture, and the result was that some believed and some were not convinced. Paul reminded them that God told Isaiah that people would look and listen but deliberately resist salvation (Isaiah 6:9–10). Paul continued his regular pattern and first explained the Gospel to his fellow Jews. Now he will tell it to the Gentiles, and he knows from experience that they will listen. For two years, Paul lived there in Rome and welcomed all that came for a visit. He boldly proclaimed the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ, for not even house arrest can stop the kingdom of God.
Acts may seem like an incomplete story, but perhaps, that is precisely what is intended by the author. We are left with the advancement of the gospel and the message of the kingdom of God. Rome may arrest the Herald, but the message goes on. One might say that every day in the life of the church the story continues. Acts is not an unfinished story, and we have been added to the plot.
Things To Consider:
- How do you think Paul felt when he finally made it to Rome?
- Why is it significant that there are other Christians in Rome?
- How are you encouraged by other believers?
- How do you encourage other believers?
- Why do people disagree about Jesus?
- What does the use of the prophet Isaiah tell us about God's plan?
- How does God show himself sovereign over the great civilization called Rome?