May 15, 2023 – Monday
Acts 28:23-24 NIV
23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.
24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
Paul is in jail in Rome, but with a great deal of freedom and one Roman soldier to guard him. However, three days after arriving in Rome, Paul sought to speak with the Jewish leaders there. He explained how he ended in Rome under arrest, 17b “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. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 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.”
Amazingly, they had not heard any reports pro or con about Paul. Still they wanted to hear his views and what he had to say about the sect of followers of Jesus that was always being spoken of badly. And that is where I verses for today come into play, 23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. He was not just telling the good news about Jesus and how He died for all of our sins on the cross and rose on the third day. No, Paul also pointed out how the Law of Moses and the Prophets pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. For more on this I recommend the book “Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament” by C.J.H. Wright.
Paul had spoken all day into the evening and 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. Some listened with open ears and open hearts and were then able to believe. Others simply refused to believe. Thus the following was written and said, 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
(Isaiah 6:9-10 Septuagint)
Whereupon Paul concluded by saying, 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 29 After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.
Bottom Line: We leave Acts as we began, with everyone having the choice of believing or not believing. It is amazing how many of Paul’s fellow Jews refused to believe, although many did in various locations. Yet Paul never quit sharing the Gospel of Jesus. Never. Nor should we ever quit sharing in our own lives.
Prayer: Almighty God, Once again thank You for the wonderful example of Paul who never quit sharing the Gospel. Please help us to do the same in our own individual lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton