Acts Chapter Twenty Eight part 4, A study of Acts 28:16, Acts 28:17, Acts 28:18 - 20, and Acts 28:21 & 22 with our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 28:16

"When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him." NIV translation

Once again, we see the favor of God at work in the life of Paul. He is allowed freedom even though he is still a prisoner and so he is able to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to strengthen the believers around him. We, too, shall see this favor when we are listening to the Spirit and following God's plan for our lives.

Acts 28:17

"Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: 'My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.'" NIV translation

It was the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem that had caused Paul to be arrested and so he calls the Jewish leaders of Rome together to work out their differences. This is the biblical pattern for settling disputes among men. It is the same for us today in that, if we have a disagreement with someone, we are to go to them and discuss it with them. Many times, this does not happen and instead gossip and rumors are started.

Acts 28:18 - 20

"They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar - not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain." NIV translation

Paul explains to the local Jews how he came to be in chains in their city. We notice that, in this attempt to settle the differences, he did not point his finger at the Jews in Jerusalem and blame them. Instead, he sees and explains that the reason he is being held is to further the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the hope of all men. We, too, should remain focused on our goal of sharing the gospel instead of whining about our circumstances and blaming others for them.

Acts 28:21 & 22

"They replied, 'We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.'" NIV translation

We see that this direct way of settling differences is effective as Paul was asked to share his faith with the Jews of Rome. The Jews were used to lively discussions of the scriptures and so invited Paul to share his point of view. There is something that has been lost among Christians today and that is the ability to have this type of discussion without judging the salvation of the people involved and condemning them.

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