We reach our final reading in Acts! Acts 28:17-31
v17 Paul called a meeting with the Jewish leaders in Rome. He reassured them that he had done nothing wrong against the Bible and nor had he done anything wrong against even the traditions/customs of the elders.
v18 The Romans thoroughly examined Paul and found nothing worthy of imprisonment or death.
v19 The natural interpretation of this is that the Judeans put such pressure on the representatives of the Roman government that Paul thought they would give in to the pressure -therefore he appealed to Caesar. The spiritual interpretation though is that G-d wanted Paul to go to Rome and testify there.
v20 What is the “Hope of Israel”? Biblically there is a connection between hope and the promises of G-d. Yeshua is the hope of Israel and through Him a Kingdom is going to be established.
v21 Despite the fact that the Judeans knew Paul was going to Rome they did not send letters/anyone to Rome to warn the leaders there.
v22 Faith in Yeshua and the teachings of the apostles were not outside of Judaism back then. They were considered a sect within it. The reason for this was because it was rooted in Torah truth (rooted in the OT)
- These people wanted/desired to listen to Paul to see what he had to say.
v23 It should not surprise us that Paul spoke of the Kingdom of G-d. Both John the Baptist and Yeshua’s messages had been ‘repent, for the Kingdom is at hand’.
- Rev 19:10 the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of prophecy – a good place to start with getting to know and understand Yeshua is through the law of Moses and the prophets. (The OT is VERY important to us and we should never be encouraged to “unhitch” ourselves from it – as some are teaching today😕)
- Paul taught from morning until evening. This shows how hungry the people were to hear the Word of G-d.
v24 It was not that those who did not believe did not understand or felt that Paul was theologically incorrect. Some versions say they refused to believe (they were against believing)
v25 The emphasis of the text shifts to those who are disbelieving.
V26 Quote taken from Isaiah 6:9-10
The people are given the opportunity to hear and see but they had hardened their hearts (they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of G-d…Rom 1:28) and so were then unable to understand
v27 The people’s heart, ears and eyes were heavy and dull because they had rejected truth (out of their own free will – G-d does not cause us to reject truth but He gives us the freedom to reject it)
- G-d desires all of mankind to be saved. Even in this verse we see G-d’s heart and His desire to heal even those with hard hearts.
v28 From the foundation of the world G-d wanted to bless all mankind – Jew and Gentile.
v31 ‘All confidence’ – boldly, with assurance.
Notice that when Paul was first with those in Rome he spoke about Yeshua as Messiah.
Two years later he is still speaking about the Kingdom of G-d and Yeshua but the L-rdship of Yeshua is emphasized here. Once we understand the things of the Kingdom it is going to be natural for us to have a strong desire to submit to the L-rdship of Yeshua!