Sunday, March 18, 2018

Paul in Rome

Our brief look at the account of the Acts of the Apostles as penned by Luke has brought us to the final few paragraphs in chapter twenty-eight.  Here we find that Paul has finally been transported from the site of the shipwreck on Malta to Rome where he continues to be held prisoner awaiting his hearing before Caesar.  Yet he is permitted to live in a private residence under the oversight of a Roman guard.

Shortly after his arrival in Rome Paul invites the members of the Jewish community in the city to confer with him in his home.  Many having heard of the religious sect Paul represents, likely as much through curiosity as anything else, show up to hear what Paul has to say.  It is worth noting that many of these Jews were no doubt devout followers of the Law and having heard of "Christianity" did not deem it to be a new religion, but labelled it a "sect" which is to say that though it may present new thought it did not deny the Law. The upshot of these meetings with Paul were much like a modern day presentation of the Gospel in that some accepted the teachings and became followers of Christ and many did not.

It is interesting to note that here ends Luke's account without reference or explanation as to what happened to Paul after the two-year detention in Rome.  And why, I asked myself, is that the case.  I think at least two factors should be considered. First, The Acts is not about Paul!  It is true that Paul is a principal character throughout the book, but the Acts is about Jesus Christ and the dissemination of the Gospel throughout the Gentile world.  Second, I believe that the end of Paul's detention probably was also the end of Luke's connection to Paul's life and Luke wrote only about events of which he had first-hand knowledge.  I could be wrong on the second point, but I think not on the first.

The pastoral epistles of Paul along with contemporary non-scriptural literature give us some information regarding Paul's ministries beyond his first captivity in Rome and perhaps his ultimate demise.  But that lies beyond the scope of this lesson and would require in-depth study to ferret out the desired information.

Point to ponder:  I stated above that the Book of Acts is about Jesus Christ and the spreading of the Gospel.  Is it not the case that the entire canon of Scripture from Genesis through the Prophets, the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and finally The Revelation is about Jesus Christ and the Good News of Salvation?


Vee said...

Agree totally with your last paragraph. Christian churches now should be "writing" Acts 29 by continuing to be all about Jesus and spreading the Gospel. Unfortunately, that is often not the case with modern churches.

vanilla said...

Vee, exactly; the twenty-first century church is responsible for continuing the mission.

Sharkbytes said...

My grandmother had a list of "Jesus in every book of the Bible" and I've seen a similar book- not sure if it's the same list, but must be a near match, I would think.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, I think I have never read that list but in reading the Bible, I find Him there!

Secondary Roads said...

In answer to your question, I believe the answer is "YES."