Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” (Acts 28:17-20)
I was sorry to see another Heaven or Hell? sign in my new river town of Branford, FL. Why do Christians think that message conveys love? God charges us to love one another and tell others about Jesus.
Paul loves his Jewish brothers and sisters even though they’re the reason he’s chained. He realizes God would release him if he were bound for no reason. He called the Jewish leaders, not to charge them for his detention nor to free him, but to tell them about the hope of Israel, Jesus, their Messiah.
In every city he visits, Paul first tells the Jews about Jesus. After they reject Jesus, he tells Gentiles the good news. Paul forgives, prays for, and loves non-believers who are against him, then he tells them about Jesus’ compassion. Do we do the same?
Father, I praise you for loving everyone, even those who hurt your son. Help me pray for and show your love to those who have hurt me. Bring them closer to you. Open the eyes of your chosen people to Jesus’ love and forgiveness. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.