ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 122


Three days after Paul’s arrival, 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. I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so
I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe
that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.”
They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you
from anyone who has come here. But we want to hear what you believe,
for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced
So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to
Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and
tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of
Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning
until evening. Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did
not believe. And after they had argued back and forth among themselves,
they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when
he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet,
‘Go and say to this people:
When you hear what I say,
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’
So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered
to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”
For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and
teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

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