Paul Arrives at Rome 11 After three months we set sail in x a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods 1 as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found y brothers 1 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And y the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, z Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, a Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. Paul 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, b though I had done nothing against our people or c 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 d wished to set me at liberty, e because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled f to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against g my nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is h because of i the hope of Israel that I am wearing j this k chain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of l 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 m sect we know that everywhere n it is spoken against.” 23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening o he expounded to them, testifying to p the kingdom of God and q trying to convince them about Jesus r both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And s some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: t “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 u “‘Go to this people, and say, v “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 27 w For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and x turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 Therefore let it be known to you that y this z salvation of God a has been sent to the Gentiles; b they will listen.” 1 30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, 1 and c welcomed all who came to him, 31 d proclaiming e the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ f with all boldness and g without hindrance.
11 Μετὰ δὲ τρεῖς μῆνας ἀνήχθημεν ἐν πλοίῳ παρακεχειμακότι ἐν τῇ νήσῳ, Ἀλεξανδρίνῳ, παρασήμῳ Διοσκούροις. 12 καὶ καταχθέντες εἰς Συρακούσας ἐπεμείναμεν ἡμέρας τρεῖς, 13 ὅθεν περιελόντες κατηντήσαμεν εἰς Ῥήγιον. καὶ μετὰ μίαν ἡμέραν ἐπιγενομένου νότου δευτεραῖοι ἤλθομεν εἰς Ποτιόλους, 14 οὗ εὑρόντες ἀδελφοὺς παρεκλήθημεν παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐπιμεῖναι ἡμέρας ἑπτά· καὶ οὕτως εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην ἤλθαμεν. 15 κἀκεῖθεν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ἀκούσαντες τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν ἦλθαν εἰς ἀπάντησιν ἡμῖν ἄχρι Ἀππίου φόρου καὶ Τριῶν ταβερνῶν, οὓς ἰδὼν ὁ Παῦλος εὐχαριστήσας τῷ θεῷ ἔλαβεν θάρσος. 16 Ὅτε δὲ εἰσήλθομεν εἰς Ῥώμην, ἐπετράπη τῷ Παύλῳ μένειν καθ᾽ ἑαυτὸν σὺν τῷ φυλάσσοντι αὐτὸν στρατιώτῃ. 17 Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς συγκαλέσασθαι αὐτὸν τοὺς ὄντας τῶν Ἰουδαίων πρώτους· συνελθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἔλεγεν πρὸς αὐτούς· ἐγώ, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, οὐδὲν ἐναντίον ποιήσας τῷ λαῷ ἢ τοῖς ἔθεσιν τοῖς πατρῴοις δέσμιος ἐξ Ἱεροσολύμων παρεδόθην εἰς τὰς χεῖρας τῶν Ῥωμαίων, 18 οἵτινες ἀνακρίναντές με ἐβούλοντο ἀπολῦσαι διὰ τὸ μηδεμίαν αἰτίαν θανάτου ὑπάρχειν ἐν ἐμοί. 19 ἀντιλεγόντων δὲ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἠναγκάσθην ἐπικαλέσασθαι Καίσαρα οὐχ ὡς τοῦ ἔθνους μου ἔχων τι κατηγορεῖν. 20 διὰ ταύτην οὖν τὴν αἰτίαν παρεκάλεσα ὑμᾶς ἰδεῖν καὶ προσλαλῆσαι, ἕνεκεν γὰρ τῆς ἐλπίδος τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ τὴν ἅλυσιν ταύτην περίκειμαι. 21 οἱ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν εἶπαν· ἡμεῖς οὔτε γράμματα περὶ σοῦ ἐδεξάμεθα ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας οὔτε παραγενόμενός τις τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἀπήγγειλεν ἢ ἐλάλησέν τι περὶ σοῦ πονηρόν. 22 ἀξιοῦμεν δὲ παρὰ σοῦ ἀκοῦσαι ἃ φρονεῖς, περὶ μὲν γὰρ τῆς αἱρέσεως ταύτης γνωστὸν ἡμῖν ἐστιν ὅτι πανταχοῦ ἀντιλέγεται. 23 Ταξάμενοι δὲ αὐτῷ ἡμέραν ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν ξενίαν πλείονες οἷς ἐξετίθετο διαμαρτυρόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, πείθων τε αὐτοὺς περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἀπό τε τοῦ νόμου Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν, ἀπὸ πρωῒ ἕως ἑσπέρας. 24 καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐπείθοντο τοῖς λεγομένοις, οἱ δὲ ἠπίστουν· 25 ἀσύμφωνοι δὲ ὄντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀπελύοντο εἰπόντος τοῦ Παύλου ῥῆμα ἕν, ὅτι καλῶς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐλάλησεν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ὑμῶν 26 λέγων· πορεύθητι πρὸς τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον καὶ εἰπόν· ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε καὶ οὐ μὴ συνῆτε καὶ βλέποντες βλέψετε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἴδητε· 27 ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν· μήποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς. 28 γνωστὸν οὖν ἔστω ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπεστάλη τοῦτο τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ· αὐτοὶ καὶ ἀκούσονται. 30 Ἐνέμεινεν δὲ διετίαν ὅλην ἐν ἰδίῳ μισθώματι καὶ ἀπεδέχετο πάντας τοὺς εἰσπορευομένους πρὸς αὐτόν, 31 κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ διδάσκων τὰ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάσης παρρησίας ἀκωλύτως.
The gospel reaches the ends of the earth 28.11-16 They finally arrive in Rome After three months of (presumably pretty active) ministry on Malta. Feb AD 60 they set sail. Three taverns, 30ish miles outside Rome on the famous Appian way [photo?] Castor and Pollux, mythical twin sons of Zeus. Thought to be protectors of sea-farers. Irony here - it has clearly been YHWH protecting them. Paul has a real Christian heart; he hasn't been hardened and numbed by all his trials, but still delights to see brothers. Cf his letters, how he loves fellow Christians. A key barometer for us. Note Paul's manner with the jews in Rome; there's no them and us attitude after all he's been through. 28.17-28 The gospel brings division among the Jews in Rome 17-31. Again this key fact that Christianity is not claiming anything different from the Old Testament; it was pushed out, it didn't leave by choice. v21-2 must have been so gutting? Doesn't exactly seem like strong loving support. v23 Paul the biblical theologian. And the closing verses are a kind of summary of the book as a whole. Isaiah's quotation about the Jews, and the mission to the gentiles, who will be grafted in. v30 at his own expense; skin in the game. Proclaiming; in his own house. It mustn't always be read as street preaching. Also a reminder that even when Christianity is under house arrest, so to speak, it can still minister freely without hindrance. Underground is no problem for the church. lengthy explicit quotation from Isaiah 28.29-31 The Kingdom of God is proclaimed without hindrance Welcomed all who came to him. Picture of the gospel itself. We should be like this. Paul writes key letters eg Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians in this time. So God used it mightily! Evidently is released and does about 2 years more ministry - we know from Pastoral epistles eg 2 Timothy. Dies AD64 we think. Final two words: bold and unhinderedly. A summary of the gospel trajectory! The gospel dynamic. Acts 1.8 has been carried out! What Jesus continued to do by his Spirit, through his church, in the nations. David Gooding, 'But at the point where Luke laid down his pen, Paul - though in chains - and the gospel of God's kingly rule were irrepressibly surging ahead without let up or hindrance in spite of human opposition or nature's storms' [cf my experience on eg a Monday - feeling weak, discouraged, inadequate...but A29 updates from around the world always show progress.] God's glory: the gospel of his Kingdom is unhindered! He has given it freely to the gentiles too. FCF: We think it is hindered, or down to us somehow. H1 - mock Christianity for its weakness, awkwardness, messiness, failures. Assumption is that it's clearly dated and dying and soon to be gone. H2 - try to fight the gospel's corner, since we are embarrassed about its poor performance. Usually this reduces to fighting moral battles. But the Word of God is given to be proclaimed, not improved upon. Proclaimed in weakness, it surges forward unhinderedly. The real danger is that we stop proclaiming it - cf the reformation was a rediscovery. The liberals water down and stop proclaiming, the conservatives get drawn into battles and stop proclaiming it. Person of Christ: in weakness; 'all who see me mock me'. Work of Christ: through weakness to death, achieves life. Through rejection by the Jews, opens access up to the gentiles. In Christ, the old life of weakness has died, and so now there is bold gospel life veiled by the passing frailties and setbacks of this present evil age, since Christ is on the throne and our lives are hid in him. Conclusion: What Jesus continued to do by his Spirit. End of the Earth. The Ascension. Psalm 2; the nations plotting and opposing; the King enthroned; the nations being given to him. Take refuge in him!