The Apostle Paul: Paul Ministers 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.” (Acts 28:17–22 (ESV)

Romans 1:16-17 says, 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

We have seen throughout Paul’s life and ministry that even though God appointed him to be the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15) he also was to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews. Paul’s pattern on his missionary trips was to preach first in the synagogue and only when the Jews rejected the gospel would he then proceed to the Gentiles.

Paul’s ministry pattern did not change when he arrived in Rome. As today’s text bears out, Paul sought out the local leaders of the Jews and said, ““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.”

Paul wanted his fellow Jews to know the truth about him and why he was a prisoner of Rome. However, the Jews he spoke to possessed no information about either his arrest or his impending trial before Caesar. They said, “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.” The stage is set for Paul to present the truth of the gospel to the Roman Jews.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “His (Paul’s) primary objective in calling the leaders was to talk with them about the hope of Israel. This term and concept was used by Paul a number of times in the last part of Acts (cf. 23:6; 24:15; 26:6–7). The hope of Israel was more than a resurrection; it meant fulfillment of the Old Testament promises to Israel (cf. 26:6–7). Paul firmly believed Jesus is the Messiah of Israel who will return someday and establish Himself as the King of Israel and Lord of the nations (cf. 1:6).”

Do you have faith in the hope of Israel: Jesus Christ? If you do, rejoice. If you don’t, repent.

Soli deo Gloria!

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