Paul in Rome
Paul thought of Rome as merely a “Launch Out” place for evangelism further away. But instead, God wanted Paul to spend a couple of years concentrating on reaching this huge city with its population of 1,000,000 (one million) people from all over the world.
Paul had so much physical energy. He walked thousands of kilometres to bring the gospel to new places and to follow up on all the churches he helped establish. But God allowed him to be locked up in Jerusalem (and Caesarea) for two years, and then be locked up in Rome for two more. He was like a mighty lion locked up in a zoo. He mentions his imprisonment 5 times in his little letter to Philemon. He wanted to get out and get back to work. But again, God knows better than we do.
Rather than sit and complain about his circumstances, Paul made his house a powerhouse of prayer. He gathered likeminded men who had the same commitment and energy for the Gospel. Their door was always open, and our friend, Onesimus, was just one of an unknown number who were transformed at Gospel H.Q. (Acts 28:30-31). Paul came to see that his imprisonment was being used by God to do things beyond what anyone expected.
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14). There were even believers in the Palace of Caesar himself! “And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:22).