Week of July 29 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Acts 28:16-22

And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. 17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”

Reflect: Who did Paul reach out to? What is the significance of his meeting with this group only three days after his arrival in Rome? 

Consider: Right up to the last, Paul never surrendered the pattern—first the synagogue, then the streets. Now he had considerably more “clout” and, rather than slipping into a synagogue as a guest, called the Jewish leaders of Rome together. He presented his case with special focus on the reason for his imprisonment found at the end of verse 20: “It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain” (23:6; 24:21; 26:6–8). Note, too, that Paul was under house arrest and, therefore, unable to meet with the Jews in some place of their choosing.[1]

Respond: How might we regularly remind ourselves of what we have received in Christ? How might doing so help us be more active in sharing Christ with others? How does your sense of urgency compare with Paul’s? What initiative do you take to create witnessing opportunities?

 

[1] Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, vol. 5, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 466.