Chief Jews Solicit Apostle Paul’s Opinion Concerning Christianity
Welcome to you, to our Book of Acts Bible Study, Apostle Paul: “What is Your Opinion of Jesus Christ and Christianity?” Today, we are at the final chapter in this book bible study, Acts Chapter Twenty Eight, Acts 28:16 –31, part 3 of 3.
Apostle Paul’s journey to Rome ends soon after he is strengthened and encouraged by Italian Believers at “The Three Taverns”. Paul and all the prisoners arrived in Rome. On their arrival, Julius delivered “the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him,” Acts 28:16.
Three days after his arrival in Rome, Apostle Paul had a meeting with the chief of the Jews, Acts 28:17. In that meeting, he explained the reason for his arrest; why he appealed to Caesar and commented he had nothing to accuse his “nation of,” Acts 28:19.
Apostle Paul proceeded to explain his reason for convening the meeting. In his own words, Paul said to see you, and to speak with you.” Apostle Paul told the gathering that he wishes to speak with the leaders of Jews because he’s “in chains” for the “hope of Israel,” Acts 28:20.
Then the chief of the Jews explained to Apostle Paul that they have not received any communications from Judaea concerning him, Acts 28:21. At this point, they solicit Apostle Paul’s opinion concerning Christianity. They explained, “Everywhere it is spoken against,” Acts 28:22.
They agreed on a date when Apostle Paul would expound his understanding of the Christian Way to them. On the agreed date, many of the chief of the Jews convened at Apostle Paul’s house. There he expounded and declared “the kingdom of God.” He persuaded them concerning Christ from the Law and the Prophets from “morning” until “evening,” Acts 28:23.
At the end of Apostle Paul’s presentation, the group was divided: many believed the things that he spoke and many did not believe, Acts 28:24. They could not reach a consensus therefore; Apostle Paul informed them that a prophecy is fulfilled in them.
Apostle Paul Explained The Prophecy of Esais
“Hearing” you “shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing” you “shall see, and not perceive,” Acts 28:26 – 27.
Apostle Paul explained, in light of Israel’s spiritual blindness, “the salvation of God is sent” to “the Gentiles” and they will hear it, Acts 28:28. When the Chief Jews heard this, they left with much discussion among themselves, Acts 28:29.
For “two whole years”, Apostle Paul lived in his own rented house in Rome and he received all who came to see him, Acts 28:30.
“Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him,” Acts 28:31.
The Lord’s provisions for Apostle Paul did not cease with his arrival in Rome. Observe how the Scripture differentiated “the prisoners” from “Paul”, in essence rendering Apostle Paul a free man, Acts 28:16. In addition, the two groups were treated differently. Apostle Paul did not go to prison or jail but rented his own apartment in Rome. Prisoners don’t pay rent. Here’s a supernatural provision of the Lord Jesus Christ for Apostle Paul.
At first, it may seems rather surprising that after all that Apostle Paul endured from the Jews in Judaea, that they never communicated with the Jews in Rome concerning him. This is not an oversight on the part of the Jews but the continued provision of Christ for Apostle Paul. Had the Lord Jesus allowed them to communicate to Rome then Apostle Paul’s reception from the Jews would have been similar to Jerusalem’s. Instead by God grace Apostle Paul was welcomed in a friendly way by the Roman Jews. By so doing Christ gave Apostle Paul rest from the Jews and allowed His Words to come to pass.
How I wish it were possible to hear Apostle Paul speak of Jesus Christ
Had the Jews at Rome knowledge of Apostle Paul from those Jews in Judaea they would not have asked his opinion on Christianity for they would have known his position. Now they are uncertain whether Apostle Paul shall speak against or for Heresy. This is the mighty provision of the Lord Jesus Christ. By this provision the Lord ensures all the Jews hear the preaching of Jesus Christ.
How I wish it were possible to hear Apostle Paul speak of Jesus Christ. Oh great he was as a preacher of Jesus Christ for he spoke from “morning” until “evening”. Many people cannot speak of Christ for five minutes much less speak for twelve hours.
In closing, the ending of Apostle Paul’s ministry marks the dawning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ reaching the Gentiles. Since that time until now, more than two thousand years have passed. When shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled? The same duration will delimits the return of the salvation of God to the Jews. Apostle Paul was very instrumental in getting that word to us.
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