25 And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers,
26 saying, 'GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, "YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
27 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM."'
28 "Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen." NAU
When Paul arrived in Rome, he (Acts 28:16) was allowed to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. After being there just three days, he invited the leaders of the Jews together for a meeting. He emphasized his innocence, explained his appeal to Caesar, and testified that he was in chains for the hope of Israel. They listened to Paul, indicated that they had no letters concerning him, and invited him to explain more about the "sect" called Christian.
A day was appointed for him to speak. He expounded concerning the kingdom of God and tried to persuade them to believe in Jesus. He spoke out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets. He spoke from early morning until evening. Some of the Jews believed, but some did not.
Because the Jews (verse 25) were in disagreement, they left. However, they did not leave before Paul spoke one final word to them. Paul says, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers." The Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah with a message (Isaiah 6:9-10) to their ancestors. That message applied very well to Paul's audience. The Jews would hear but not understand; they would see but not perceive the truth. Their hearts were dull.
Now, Paul declares (verse28): "Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen." NAU This declaration was in total harmony with his calling and ministry. Although it was his custom to go to the Jews first, he always went on to minister to the Gentiles.
The Jews left, but the door was open for Paul to minister in Rome. For two years Paul dwelled in his own hired house and ministered to all who came to him. Even some of Caesar's household (Philippians 4:22) were saved. Although confined to his house, Paul freely ministered.
George M. Flattery
Horton, Stanley M. The Book of Acts. Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1981.
Lenski, R.C.H. The Acts of the Apostles. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961.
© Copyright 2003. GMF.