Christian Challenge International
Acts 28:11-31 Paul at Rome- A Word to the Jews"
From: "Pastor Buddy Martin" <Bro.Buddy@ChristianChallenge.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:37:53 -0600
Subject: [HF] Acts043 -
Acts 28:11-31 Paul at Rome- A Word to the Jews
With this study we will complete the book of Acts. The studies will
be available at the Christian Challenge web site for future
reference. Following this study we will return to our regular Hebraic
There are a couple of things I need to reemphasize about the Acts of
the Apostles. Acts was never intended to be simply a doctrinal book.
Its emphasis is on the changing of covenants. The pattern in the
preaching is 'to the Jew first,' and then to all other nations.
There is a simple truth in this. The new covenant completes the
covenant of Moses. The Messiah had come. But the new covenant was
made with Israel, and though many rejected Him, the essence of our
faith still remains Hebraic. It is heavenly in its spiritual essence.
We have been looking at the very first disciples of Jesus Christ, and
in particular the 'apostles of the Lamb.' No other person has ever
had the authority given to the original apostles. This does not mean
that healing and miracles ceased with them. It simply means that
these men had the responsibility and authority for laying the
foundation for the new covenant. For this reason they are to be held
in honor along with God's prophets of old.
Let me mention once again, that the new covenant had its beginning in
Jerusalem, and will complete itself in Jerusalem. You've often heard
me say this. However, this is a key note to understanding redemption
Ok, its time to go. Are you ready for Rome?
This is Acts043 -
Acts 28:11-31 Paul at Rome- A Word to the Jews
The Lord promised Paul that he would appear before Caesar. Let's pick
up from the island of Malta.
Vss11-15: Synopsis - Paul spends three months on Malta and then the
apostolic band sets sail. After some port stops, the apostle arrives
in Puteoli, Italy, which is about 120 miles from Rome. It should be
noted that there were already Christians there. There is an ancient
tradition that the bishop (pastor) of Puteoli was one of the 70
disciples that Jesus had sent forth. In any event, Paul was stayed
with them for seven days.
"... and so we went toward Rome."
From this point the apostolic group will travel by foot. Rome was the
metropolitan city of the Roman Empire. It was known everywhere as the
'city on seven hills.' At that time she was considered the mistress
of the whole world. Rome was supposedly built about 750 years before
Christ. This would put its founding around the time of Isaiah the
prophet, or somewhat earlier.
Vs16: "And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by
himself, with the soldier that guarded him."
.... Jewish Christians from Rome met Paul and brought him to the
city. No one knows who began the work in Rome. Neither Peter nor Paul
were involved in its beginnings. The church may have come as a result
of Pentecost 30 a.d., and then grown from there. Paul wrote a letter
to them. In fact to study early church doctrine it would be amiss not
to place the letter to the Romans at the forefront.
Vss17-20: Synopsis - After three days Paul sent for the local Jewish
leadership. When they came, Paul sets about to explain the events
that led to his present circumstances. The apostle ends his defense
with a statement that sets forth the true reason for his chains.
"... therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it
is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain."
The expression 'the hope of Israel' had a rich meaning for the Jewish
people. It spoke directly to Messiah. Jeremiah calls attention to
this term in applying it to God; "O You Hope of Israel, its savior in
time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like
a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?" (Jer14:8)
Vs21: "And they said to him, "We have received no letters from Judea
about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or
spoken any evil about you."
... It is quite interesting that no bad reports had been sent from
the priests or the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Nor had any of the Jews
from anywhere spoken evil of Paul. A lot could be read into this, but
perhaps the prophet said it best, when he said, "No weapon that is
fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every
tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of
the servants of the LORD.." (Isa54:17)
Vs22: "But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with
regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against."
... These Jewish leaders are quite open to Paul sharing the gospel
with them. Notice that they speak of the Christians as a 'sect.' At
that time the Jewish Christians were still pretty much considered one
of the many sects of Judaism.
As for this 'sect' being spoken against, Jesus said it would happen.
He said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a
man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a
daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies
will be those of his own household." (Matt10:34-36)
Vss23-25: Synopsis - A day is set for the Jewish leadership to come
hear to Paul speak of Messiah. He speaks to them from the law of
Moses and from the prophets, "from morning until evening." Some of
the men are persuaded while others "would not believe." It is at this
point that Paul gives them one final word, in saying, "The Holy
Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers..."
What Paul says next sets forth what happened to the Jewish peoples in
their rejection of Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that the rejection
isn't simply against what Paul has to say, it is a rejection of the
testimony of Moses himself and the rest of the prophets. In quoting
Vss26,27: "'GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, "YOU WILL KEEP
ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL
KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART
OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS
THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES;
OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR
WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART
AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM."'
... This tells us why it has been difficult to carry the witness of
Jesus to Jewish people through the centuries. In rejecting the
testimony of the prophets, they shut themselves off from the
revelation of Christ.
But it goes much deeper. After the destruction of the temple in 70
a.d, a new Jewish religion arose from the ashes. This new religion
set aside the prophets and put in their place the rabbis. Over time
it became known as Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. But the seed bed had
already been planted. This is what Jesus had in view when He spoke of
'the traditions of elders.' (We will get more into this in our
regular Hebraic studies.)
The one statement to keep in mind is, "They have closed their eyes."
The leadership shut their eyes to Jesus, and because of this the Lord
said they had the greater sin. One day this will be reversed and the
Lord will open their eyes.
Paul then says...
Vs28,29: "'Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of
God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.' When he
had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute
... Once again we see how the gospel was intended for all peoples of
every kindred and tongue.
And so we come to the closure of the book of Acts. It says,
Vss30,31: "And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters
and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God
and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness,
.... Does the story end here. Not according to some historians. It is
said that Paul was set at liberty and traveled on into Italy, France
and Spain. Perhaps he did. We do know that he desired to go to Spain.
There was a large colony of Jews there. It is also interesting to
note that modern Jewish demographics states that 90% of people from
the Iberian region have Jewish lineage.
Anyway, this concludes our study in Acts. Please feel free to make
observations or ask questions.
The Lord bless you,
Lawrence E. (Buddy) Martin, HF Host
"See to it that no one comes short of the grace
of God; that no root of bitterness springing up
causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." (Heb12:15)
Hebraic-Foundations is an online email conference which provides studies as well as offers
open discussion on the Biblical Christian. Its special emphasis is towards
the pre-325 A.D. Church.
To subscribe send an email to Hebraic-Foundationsemail@example.com
Once you've subscribed, messages should be sent to Hebraic-Foundations@yahoogroups.com.
Or you can subscribe by filling out the form below.
(Special note - This forum is not for Yahwists or Sabbatarians, or for
any who view the term 'Christian' in a derogatory way. Membership is
considered upon completion of a questionnaire.)