Daily Devotional: Tuesday 30th Juneby William Moody
16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.
Paul in Rome
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.”
23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’
28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”1
30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense,2 and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Paul is under arrest (v16) and possibly facing death, but his appetite for sharing the Gospel in insatiable and he arranges for the Jewish leaders in Rome to come to him so he can testify to them (v17-20).
We can maybe make many excuses why certain times are not right for sharing the Gospel, but Paul knew none of this. We need to pray for a similar passion to share the Gospel today.
The Jews initially responded very positively to what Paul shared (v21-23). The Gospel though divides (v24) between those who believe and those who don’t. We must be ready for this and how if we trust in Jesus, people will at times take a spite against us because of this.
Paul in sharing the Gospel did not water down its message and shared all of God’s truth if it was popular or not (25-28). What others do with the Gospel is not our responsibility. Our task is to lovingly share the whole truth.
Paul for two years never stopped preaching from his home (v30-31). Speak to God about whether you have a similar passion and boldness in declaring the message about Jesus.
This ends Luke’s account of Paul’s ministry. We’re not told what happened next. In a sense the story of what Jesus’ followers continue to do is still being worked out in your life and in mine.
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