#28: Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

Acts 28:23-31

They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

“‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Paul had planned at an early stage in his career to make a trip to Rome. After being shipwrecked, being washed ashore in Malta, and then put again into military transport he eventually arrives there. Not quite as he had planned but still, he gets there.

Once in Rome, Paul does waste his time awaiting trial, he spent two years under house arrest but preaching and sharing the Good News of Jesus with all who came to the house. In this conclusion then to the book of Acts we see the key division that runs through the whole book. Paul goes first to the Jews, to God’s chosen people. Most, though not all of them reject the message, their eyes and ears are blocked up. I think this is a good way of describing our secular society today. Paul however, does not let it finish with Jewish rejection. He goes on to share and proclaim the Kingdom of God with the Gentiles, with boldness, and without hinderance.

I am not sure that today’s church has quite got this Paul commitment to proclamation, what do you think?
Here there is a prayer for all would be proclaimers:

Heavenly Father,
You called, equipped, and inspired Paul
To share, proclaim, and communicate.
May you also help me to become a proclaimer,
And my church to become a proclaiming church.
Help us to teach about the Lord Jesus,
With boldness and without hinderance.