When in Rome
Read Romans 1:8-15
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. Romans 1:14-15
Paul's special commission was to take the gospel to the Gentiles, and this is why he was planning to go to Rome, the very capital of the empire. He was a preacher of the gospel, and the gospel was for all nations.
Rome was a proud city, and the gospel came from Jerusalem, the capital city of one of the little nations that Rome conquered. The Christians in that day were not among the elite of society; they were common people and even slaves. Rome had known many great philosophers and philosophies; why pay any attention to a fable about a Jew who arose from the dead? Christians looked upon each other as brothers and sisters, all one in Christ, which went against the grain of Roman pride and dignity. To think of a little Jewish tentmaker going to Rome to preach such a message is almost humorous.
Paul arrived in Rome a prisoner as well as a preacher. In Jerusalem he was arrested in the temple, falsely accused by the Jewish authorities, and eventually sent to Rome as the emperor's prisoner to be tried before Caesar. When Paul wrote this letter, he had no idea that he would go through imprisonment and even shipwreck before arriving in Rome! At the close of the letter (see 15:30-33), he asked the believers in Rome to pray for him as he contemplated this trip, and it is a good thing that they did pray!
Applying God's Truth:
- Paul directly confronted the pride of Rome. What are some of the obstacles you face as you try to present the gospel to others?
- If you knew that presenting the truth of Jesus to others would involve shipwreck, imprisonment, and other similar hardships, would you be at all reluctant to share the gospel? Why or why not?
- Do you have the assurance of knowing that other people are praying for you? If not, what can you do to arrange some prayer support?
Devotions for Renewal and Joy ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.