Acts + Letters Lesson 27 Day 5

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Acts + Letters Lesson 27 Day 5

Acts 28:11-31

“Now, at the very end of the book, the apostle comes to Rome. Thus Jesus’ prophecy that his disciples would be his witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’ is fulfilled.” (Boice)1

12. Christians welcome Paul to Rome.

After three months on the island of Malta, they sailed in one of the finest ships Alexandrian ships which wintered on the island. 

When they landed in Puteoli, Paul and Luke found brothers in Christ. After spending seven days with them, they continued toward Rome.

Some believers in Rome heard they were coming and came out from the city (about 43 miles or 69 kilometers)1 to meet them. Guzik says this was the way they greeted emperors.1 

These believers likely read Paul’s letter he wrote to the Christians in Rome a few years before. Perhaps some of them were even among the Jewish people who traveled from Rome and heard Peter preach on Pentecost many years before. Little is known about how the church in Rome got started.

Paul wrote in that letter saying, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8)

It’s no wonder Luke wrote in verse 15, “When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.”

Because of Paul’s impeccable reputation and God’s favor, they allowed Paul to live by himself in a rented house, although he was still under the supervision of a Roman guard and often chained.

13. Paul called the Jewish leaders together for a meeting at his house. 

Just three days after he arrived, Paul invited the prominent Jewish leaders in Rome to come to his house. This was Paul’s practice in every city he evangelized—seek out the Jews first. 

There were at least two purposes for Paul calling these Jewish leaders together. First, it had been the Jews in Judea who instigated all the turmoil that resulted in Paul’s arrest. Again, the Jews were instrumental in keeping him bound when the Romans were determined to let him go (Acts 24:27 and 25:9). Certainly, he wanted to present his case to these Jewish leaders to try to prevent a repeat of that. Second, Paul had purposed in his spirit to minister to those in Rome, even before the riot and his imprisonment in Jerusalem (Acts 19:21). Therefore, he was simply taking advantage of the situation to share the Gospel with the leaders of the Jewish community. He was successful in obtaining a day when they came together to hear him share the Gospel. 2 

Many of the Jews came to him to hear what he had to say about this sect.

From morning until evening he explained the kingdom of God to them, giving his personal testimony, trying to persuade them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. As a result, several of them were won over by his words, but others would not believe. (Acts 23-25 Phillips)

14. Sharing Jesus

Those I led to Christ—a school friend I invited to church, my sons, the giant sitting next to me one Sunday, and a young man in youth group. Those are the only ones I know about.

I like to count my grandfather even though I wasn’t there when it happened, and I wasn’t the only one praying for him. Many years before, when I was just a child, I remember working up the courage to ask him to go to church with us.

It crushed me when he said no. I prayed and cried over my desire to see him in the kingdom. Ten years later, what a wonderful day it was when I heard he became a brother in Christ!

Those I don’t know about—I’m aware of several others who ignored me or talked over me when I tried to share or pray. 

I hope that the tracts I passed out, youth ministry, writing and other small ways I’ve shared with others have or will produce results I’ll learn about some day. 

Conviction

The difficulty with which I interact and speak to others is of no small concern to me. I pray for Holy Spirit-empowered boldness and anointed words to bring many more into the kingdom.

Update: While I took a break from working on this lesson, the Holy Spirit questioned me about the focus on my efforts and abilities. Father God is the one who draws them to himself and puts them in my path, pricking my heart to share—sweaty palms, pounding heart and all. 

My part is to seek His face, draw ever closer, be obedient when he prompts me, and desire a greater infilling of the Holy Spirit to empower me. If Paul with his passion, intellect, knowledge, and eloquence couldn’t win them all, neither will I.

15. Acts of the Apostles 

In Acts 1:8, Jesus commissioned his disciples and commanded them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. They waited, and Holy Spirit came just as he promised.

Jesus commissioned Paul later, but he received the same instructions and followed the same equipping process.

Paul shared the good news, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and confirmed by signs and wonders. 

God’s way

Don’t attempt to share the gospel until the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

Paul obeyed God’s call to preach the gospel and went to Rome. He didn’t run in the opposite direction like Jonah. He could have been so angry with the Jewish leaders or fearful of persecution that he shook the dust off his feet, but he didn’t give up. He fulfilled his specific call of God.

And that was not even by his own choosing. God divinely equipped him through training in the temple among the Jewish leaders where he memorized the Torah. He vehemently opposed Jesus as Messiah until Jesus turned his life around through a spectacular encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

Not many days after, he was baptized with water and with the Holy Spirit.

Paul and the other apostles fulfilled Jesus’ commission by going as witnesses to Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

“Now, at the very end of the book, the apostle comes to Rome. Thus Jesus’ prophecy that his disciples would be his witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’ is fulfilled.” (Boice)1



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Resources

1 EnduringWord.com
2 AWM Living Commentary

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 27 Day 5