Three days after Paul's arrival [in Rome where he was kept under house arrest], he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, "Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence. But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people."
— Acts 28:17-19 NLT
Paul was a Jewish rabbi. He loved his Jewish heritage and his fellow Jews. Even though Jews in Jerusalem were responsible for his arrest, difficult circumstances, and long journey to Rome, Paul remained true in his love for his fellow Jews and his desire for them to come to know Jesus.* As he had written the believers in Rome years earlier and as he had practiced in his mission efforts, he began everywhere he went by first sharing the Good News of Jesus with the Jews.** Paul wanted the Jewish leaders in Rome to know his story, and he wanted them to know Jesus. Paul held no animosity or bitterness toward his people, the Jews, for his arrest. He desired to share Jesus and open hearts to the Good News of God's salvation.
Father, pour the Holy Spirit into my heart and move me to love others as Paul did and as you do — passionately, sacrificially, and tenderly. I commit to act in loving ways and to be a blessing to others. However, dear Father, I recognize that my faithfulness in this love for others can be fleeting and sometimes fickle. I want to practice faithful love that is so much a part of your nature,^ O God. Please help me! I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.