After three days Paul called the local Jewish leaders together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, although I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, from Jerusalem I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. When they had heard my case, they wanted to release me, because there was no basis for a death sentence against me. But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to Caesar – not that I had some charge to bring against my own people. So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.” They replied, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there and reported or said anything bad about you. But we would like to hear from you what you think, for regarding this sect we know that people everywhere speak against it.” They set a day to meet with him, and they came to him where he was staying in even greater numbers. From morning until evening he explained things to them, testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others refused to believe —Acts 28:17-24
Rome, at last! The Lord assured he would get there and finally he has. We should remember Rome, because at Pentecost some of the folks gathered there came from Rome. Interstingly, Paul has wanted to go to Rome to visit the saints there:
Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome” —Acts 19:21
What he intended to do was collect the contributions from the believers in Macedonia and Achaia, deliver them to the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, and then go directly to Rome. Then, Rome would be the launching pad for Paul journey to Spain:
This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. But now there is nothing more to keep me in these regions, and I have for many years desired to come to you when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them, I will set out for Spain by way of you, and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing —Romans 15:22-29
Paul’s plan was a good one, but as many of you have experienced yourselves, our Father often modifies our plans. As a result, His fingerprints are all over what He accomplishes in and through us. The clue that God had changedPaul’s plans came when He repeatedly told Paul that in Jerusalem he would encounter imprisonment and persecutions. Amazingly, he arrived safely in Rome, attached to a Roman guard. Now we would bear witness to the salvation God had provided in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Do you remember when the Lord stood next to Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). I love it when we see one of our Lord’s promises fulfilled.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts