The Hope of Israel Who or What?
While Apostle Paul was living in Rome he called the Jewish leaders of that city to discuss the hope of Israel.
However, before we examine who represents the hope of Isreal, let’s look at the backstory starting in Melita.
Apostle Paul and the other shipwrecked passengers stayed three months on Melita, then they resumed their journey to Rome.
He was on schedule to accomplishing his Fourth Missionary Journey.
“And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux” (Acts 28:11).
This is Doctor Luke’s writing style. He wrote about all of Apostle Paul’s journeys in this manner.
He was with Paul on all his missionary journeys.
Paul at Syracuse
“And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days” (Acts 28:12).
Many Christians view the number three as the number of God.
Therefore, they would view the fact that Paul stayed three months on Melita and three days at Syracuse as “the will of God“.
Apostle Paul at Rhegium
“And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli” (Acts 28:13).
The Beloved Physician continued to itemize each stop they made and thus provided the direction they took.
This practice describes the route for all of Paul’s missionary expeditions including this one.
“Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome” (Acts 28:14).
Paul at Puteoli
At Puteoli, Apostle Paul and his contingent of Believers met “brethren” who entertained them for seven days.
However, these brethren sent word ahead to other Believers in Jesus Christ concerning Paul.
Paul At Appii Forum & The Three Taverns
As a result, they journeyed to Appii Forum and The Three Taverns to meet Paul and his team.
“And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as [Appii Forum], and [The Three Taverns]: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage” (Acts 28:15).
Paul Arrives at Rome
This simple act of appreciation by these unknown Brethren encouraged and strengthened Apostle Paul.
It showed him that the Lord was still in-his-corner. And it made him more resolute in his determination to go to Rome.
“And when we came to Rome, the centurion 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).
Again, we observe that the favor of God remains on Apostle Paul. Therefore, Julius, the Centurion, continues to deal more favourably with him than with all the other prisoners.
For he permitted the Captain of the Guard to placed all the prisoners in lockup except Apostle Paul.
He allows or “suffer” him to live in his own “hired-house” (Acts 28:16, 30).
But after three days Paul called the Jewish leaders to explain the hope of God to them.
Did Paul Call the Jewish Leaders About the Hope of Israel?
“And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans” (Acts 28:17).
First, he explains that he had done “nothing againt the people” or “customs”, yet the Jews pronouced him guilty.
Consequently, they handed him over to the Romans to kill him.
“Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me” (Acts 28:18).
So, even though he was innocent he had to intervene on his own behalf. Therefore, he appealed to Caesar.
“’But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of” (Acts 28:19).
Paul Explains the Hope of Israel
What was the reason or reasons Apostle Paul called the Jewish leaders together?
“For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain” (Acts 28:20).
What “hope of Isreal” is Paul talking about?
However, these Jewish leaders in Rome had heard nothing “concerning” Paul.
“And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee” (Acts 28:21).
Nevertheless, they wanted to hear Apostle Paul’s opinion concerning “this sect” or the Christians (Acts 28:22).
Because everywhere people were speaking against them. And today the same is true.
Globally, people are not only speaking against Christianity but they are opposing it vehemently!
Thus they enquired, “But we desire to hear of [you] what [you think]: for as concerning this sect, we know that [everywhere] it is spoken against” (Acts 28:22).
An Appointment For a Meeting
As a result, they agreed on a date for a meeting to hear from Apostle Paul.
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).
Friends, note concerning the hope of Israel, what did Apostle Paul preach to the Jewish leaders?
On the day of the appointment, he spoke to them about “the kingdom of God”.
However, there is no way he could speak of God’s kingdom and not repeat what “Moses” and “the prophets” say about Jesus Christ.
Therefore, he showed them the things (in Scriptures) that these prophets of God wrote conernng Jesus Christ.
He’s the hope of Israel!
Recall, Jesus declared that Moses wrote of him (John 5:46)!
“And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not” (Acts 28:24).
Who Will Believe Our Report?
This will always be the case. Not everyone who hears the Word of God that we communicate will believe. Some will and some won’t!
“And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,” (Acts 28:25).
Because God is a Spirit; therefore, He speaks via His prophets by His Holy Ghost.
However, when he spoke through Apostle Paul the Jewish leaders got angry and left when they couldn’t arrive at a consensus.
Therefore, Paul quoted the Prophet Isaiah to them:
“Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:” (Acts 28:26).
The Hope of Israel – Jesus & the Kingdom of God
“For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Acts 28:27; Matthew 13:13-15).
“Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:28).
“And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves” (Acts 28:29).
But Paul lived for two years in Rome.
“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,” (Acts 28:30).
He received everyone who came to him with questions concerning the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ.
“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).
In other words, he preached that the Lord Jesus Christ is the hope of Israel.
He will save them from sins and reconcile them to the Lord God.
And Israel and the world are hopeless without him.