Paul had numerous opportunities to be in the presence of Roman leaders even before he arrived in Rome. In Acts 21:39- 22:1-30 a Roman commander of 1,000 troops in Jerusalem heard Paul’s defense before the Jews. Another opportunity probably for the same commander occurred in Acts 23:1-10.
Finding there was conspiracy to kill Paul the commander sent Paul by pony to Felix in Caesarea with a guard of 470 soldiers by night, later reduced to 70 horse man in the morning. Do you think Paul missed the opportunity to speak to some of these men?
Governor Felix heard Paul and his accusers in Acts 24:1-21. Felix put the accusers off until later; but allowed Paul some freedom. Felix and his wife heard Paul speak about “faith in Christ Jesus” [Acts 24:24]. For 2 years Felix “used to send for him quite often and converse with him. [vv.26-27] Later Festus brought Paul before his accusers and this time Paul appealed to his right to appear before Caesar. Paul said “If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar”. [Acts 25:1-22]
While waiting for transport to Rome Paul appeared before King Agrippa & Festus [Acts 25:23-26; 26:1-32].
“King Agrippa II was the: • Great-grandson of Herod the Great, who ruled at the time of Jesus’ birth [Matt. 2:1] • Son of Herod Agrippa I, who beheaded James and imprisoned Peter [Acts 12:1-3] • Ruler over northeast parts of Palestine, including Caesarea Philippi • Granted by Rome custody of the ceremonial vestments worn by the high priest on the Day of Atonement and the authority to appoint the high priest; as such, was considered “king of the Jews” • An expert in “Jewish customs and controversies” [Acts 26:3]”
I find it remarkable how events totally out of Paul’s control resulted in his sharing the gospel of Jesus with so many Roman leaders and people of that day. He also presented his testimony many times before the leaders of the Jews.
God put people in Paul’s presence to witness to because he took seriously the command of Jesus in Acts 22:15 “For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard”. Do I take the command of Jesus to go discipling seriously?
Henry Luke 2/21/2018
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