Paul’s Opportunity to Preach in Rome

Many years ago an energetic young man began as a clerk in a hardware store. The store’s inventory included thousands of dollars’ worth of items that were obsolete or seldom called for by customers.  The young man was smart enough to know that no thriving business … More

Opportunity
Paul had a burning desire to preach the gospel in Rome, and he eventually got there; in chains, through shipwreck, and after many trials. Although he may have wished for an easier passage he knew that God had blessed him greatly and had given his the opportunity to be there and preach the gospel to both Jew and Gentiles in that great city. It didn’t take Paul long to begin his ministry (v. 17). As had been his custom in city after city, he began witnessing to the Jews first and then the Gentiles. Perhaps he also thought it wise to explain the entire situation to the Jews in Rome, giving his side of the story before his accusers came to them (vv. 18-20). Paul was very careful about what he said, as he did not want to antagonize his listeners by accusing his accusers.

The Jewish leaders were most cordial and insisted that they had heard nothing about Paul’s case, but admitted that Christianity was considered a heresy (vv. 21-22). It appears that he won their hearing more by what he left unsaid, than by what he said. The fact that these Jews had not received any word from the Jews in Palestine concerning Paul’s case seems to indicate that his persecutors had decided not to pursue the case further. Probably it was because they realized that Caesar would pronounce Paul not guilty. By not showing up in Rome to press charges, they would simply let the case go by default.  Roman law would keep Paul out of circulation for many months, and the Jews would not risk allowing Christianity to be judged as a legitimate religion.

Application

God worked for Paul’s good (Rom. 8:28) and I can trust Him to do the same for me. He may not make the path smooth, but He will provide the opportunity to do His work.

Acts 28:17-22 (English Standard Version)


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