Day 162: To the Jews First

Acts 28:17-22 :

It happened that after three days Paul called together those who were the leaders of the Jews. When they had come together, he said to them, “I, brothers, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, still was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, desired to set me free, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything about which to accuse my nation. For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

They said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you. But we desire to hear from you what you think. For, as concerning this sect, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.”

As was Paul’s custom, he went to the Jews in Rome first in order to explain what happened and to tell them about “the hope of Israel.” It appears that Paul had finally worn out the Jews in Jerusalem as none of the Roman Jews had even heard about the issues with Paul. Paul explained how he came to be in the custody of Rome anDay 162: To the Jews Firstd that he actually wanted to come to Rome and speak to the Jews there directly.

These men were open to hear what Paul had to say even though they had already heard Christianity wasn’t liked among the Jews in general. It is important to remember that many Jews had believed, but we can see here that, in general among the leadership, there was a sense that Christianity was a sect and didn’t have a good reputation. After having been treated so badly in Jerusalem, it is nice to hear that in Rome the Jews were willing to listen before making a decision about him.