All roads lead back to Rome. Looking back over Paul’s life, it is interesting to me how Rome has such a central role in his story. That doesn’t just include the fact he visited and preached there, but also that he was a Roman citizen. Several times he used the fact he was a Roman citizen as leverage to avoid being jailed or killed so that he could continue to preach the gospel. In fact, in Acts 28 he is under guard, but allowed to reach a large number of people and continue to preach.
Many Christians often focus on the heavenly kingdom we are called to be a part of and want to withdraw from the world. Paul’s example suggests the opposite. We should be engaged in our world, reaching out to all that will listen in order to preach the good news. I love how the chapter finishes – “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.” The author of Acts feels compelled to give this point at the end of the chapter to show the contrasting experience of being allowed to preach without constant threat of danger. This does not suggest in any way that as Christians we will always be able to safely preach the gospel. It just reminds us that we are called to preach it – no matter what the situation.