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.” (Acts 28:23–24 (ESV)
The second meeting the Apostle Paul had with the Jews occurred at a pre-appointed time. It also occurred at Paul’s place of lodging. Paul’s residence was not at this time a prison cell of an indeterminate nature, but rather a guest room of a larger house or dwelling place. Luke did not use the word prison, as he had when Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:23).
Additionally, the meeting Paul had with the Jews this time involved a greater number of people than his first encounter (Acts 28:17). The meeting began in the morning and lasted until the evening hours. Paul expounded and explained, from the Old Testament Law and Prophets, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul declared to them the truth of the kingdom of God, that Jesus Christ was the only Savior and Lord. Paul’s method of Jewish evangelism throughout the Book of Acts was to prove from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah (cf. 13:16–41).
The term “kingdom of God” involves the concept of God’s rule and reign over the hearts and lives of His disciples by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is applied to the sinner’s account by grace alone through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
However, the “kingdom of God” also looks ahead to Christ’s literal reign on earth. It is clearly eschatological and future in significance (cf. Acts 1:3–6; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; Luke 1:33; 4:43; 6:20; 7:28; 8:1, 10; 9:2, 11, 27, 60, 62; 10:9, 11; 11:2, 20; 12:31–32; 13:18, 20, 28–29; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20–21; 18:16–17, 24–25, 29–30; 19:11; 21:31; 22:16, 18, 29–30; 23:42, 51).
Ironically, to these Jews the concept of the Messiah dying for sins as an atoning sacrifice, and the teaching of justification by faith as the way of entering the kingdom, sounded strange. It shouldn’t have given the Old Testament Levitical sacrificial system centered not only in the Tabernacle but also in the Temple. It shouldn’t have given the annual Jewish feasts and festivals which pointed to God’s redeeming work; especially through the festival of Passover (Exodus 12).
Some of the Jews began to be convinced of what Paul declared. Others did not believe in the truth of the Gospel at all. These responses to the Gospel remain the same today.
What is your response?
Soli deo Gloria!