“Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, “Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence. But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people. I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.” They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you from anyone who has come here. But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.”
Acts of the Apostles 28:17-22 NLT
Paul wasted no time calling together the Jewish people who resided in Rome. Rome was the epicenter of the world at the time. It was the largest city of the known world. The stage was set for a great presentation of the gospel. Although legal matters had transpired to bring Paul to Rome, God was setting it all up for the sake of His kingdom. Immediately, Paul got to the heart of the matter. He told his fellow countrymen that he had done nothing in violation of the Jewish customs or its people. He made his case concerning the accusations that had placed him in the legal storm he had endured. He told them that the reason he was forced to appeal to the a Roman Emperor was because the Jewish leaders had protested his release that was proposed by the Roman authority. He went on to say that the only reason the Jewish leaders wanted him prosecuted, even killed, was because of his belief, acceptance, and proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah. (Christ). The Jewish audience responded that they had not heard of these accusations. However, they did state that they had heard that the movement (Christian Faith) had been argued against everywhere. This intrigued them and they wanted to hear more about Jesus.
Can you imagine Paul as he is given opportunity to share Jesus with such a crowd and in such a large city. Only God could have orchestrated this event. We need to remember that God is still in ultimate control of creation. He can do more in an instant than we can do in a lifetime. When faced with adversity and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, just remember this: God sees and is able to work it out. Let go of the reins and simply walk by faith. He is working for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Rev. Curtis Norris