From Puteoli the party went by land toward Rome (317). More local followers of Jesus met them along the way, at Appii Forum & at Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and was very encouraged.
When at last they came to Rome, Julius (the Roman officer) delivered his prisoners to the captain of the guard, who gave Paul separate living quarters & ordered Julius to continue to guard him.
After three days, Paul called the local Jewish leaders together & said to them: “Men & brothers, I have been delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers. When the Roman authorities & even King Agrippa examined me, they wanted to let me go, because they found no cause for putting me to death. But the Jewish leaders there spoke against my release, so I was compelled to appeal to Caesar. I have called you here to let you know my situation. It is actually for proclaiming the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain!”
Then the local Jewish leaders said to Paul, “We have received no letters or personal reports from anyone in Judea about you. However, we do know that many Jews are opposed to the Christian way, so we would like to learn more about this from you.”
So on an appointed day, many local Jews came to Paul at his confinement lodging. Paul taught & testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them from both the law of Moses & the prophets that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
This went on all day; some were persuaded by the things Paul said, and others were not. Paul rebuked the latter group: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “You will hear but not understand; you will see but not perceive. For your hearts have grown dull, your ears have grown hard of hearing, and your eyes have closed. Otherwise you would see with your eyes & hear with your ears & understand with your hearts, and you would turn to God, who would heal you.’”
“So know this: the salvation of God has been offered to Gentiles, because they are willing to receive it.” After Paul had finished, the Jews left — having a great dispute among themselves about all that Paul had taught.
Paul remained in minimum custody in Rome for two more years. He was able to receive any & all visitors. To them all, he freely & faithfully & confidently preached the kingdom of God & taught about Jesus the Christ.
God, please help me to love telling Your story, even when some refuse to listen.
(317) Acts 28:14b-31