Unstoppable! 'Paul with the Jewish Leaders in Rome' — Acts 28:17-19

Friday, December 27, 2024

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

Key Thought

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.

* See our first set of Related Scripture Readings.
** See our second set of Related Scripture Readings.

Today's Prayer

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.

^ See Psalm 136:1-26. Faithful unfailing love is an attribute of God that he assigns to himself as part of his divine character: Jeremiah 31:3; Exodus 34:5-6. See also Psalm 33:5-6; 1 John 4:16; Matthew 22:36-40.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 9:1-5
  • Romans 1:16; Acts 17:1-12

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 28:17-19 NLT — 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."

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.