Paul Challenged in Rome

In Your Bible: Acts 28: 12-30

Paul possibly understood more of what Jesus said and did through his encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. He knew well the Law and the Prophets as a “Pharisee of Pharisees” (see Acts 23:6). God gave Paul added time in Rome to instruct Gentiles and Jews about the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

Before the Jewish Leadership

In Rome, Paul called the Jewish leaders together and said, “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death” (Acts 28: 17b, 18 NASB).

The Roman Jews declared they’d not heard any of this . . .  “But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect” [followers of Jesus] (Acts 28:22 NASB). What a door God opened here. Paul explained about the Kingdom of God and about Jesus from the Law and the prophets.

Isaiah’s Prophecy Fulfilled

Some believed but most of the Jews did not. * Again rejection by the Jewish leadership deeply disappointed Paul. Then he quoted the same Messianic Prophecy that Jesus did (see Matthew 13:14 and John 12:40):

“The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes;
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them”’ (Acts 28:25b-27 NASB).

Paul spent two full years, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Jesus the Christ openly. God gave Paul added time in Rome—to instruct Gentiles and Jews about the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Father, please help me respond when opportunities to share the gospel arise. I want to be your spokesman.

Questions: In what manner do you react to rejection? How can you better allow the Holy Spirit speak through you in times of confrontation.

* Bible Commentary, McGarvey and Pendleton, Acts: 28:24, online at christianity.com