What a privilege it would be to be invited to such a meeting. Paul, the greatest human apostle of all time, called his high and mighty Jewish brethren, to his “own hired house,” and read the right act for not obeying the teachings of the Law of Moses! Paul alludes to this provision of “LODGING.” This was pre-Judiastic, what was taught in Judaism, and carried on until the first half of this past century among our brethren. Mentioned when writing to Philemon (a good Jewish name) in Philemon 1:22. “But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers, I shall be given unto you.” Many do not appreciate what God had in mind for this room, the best room of the house, for traveling Jews. It not only provided them fellowship, it gave the the proper diet (for they ate with one of their own who would eat the food of the Jewish law), it showed the hospitality demanded of the Lord. The statement “foxes have holes and birds have nest; but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head” picks up a special meaning not often seen. When Lot had the “strangers” under his roof he showed that he felt personally responsible for them. Genesis 19:8 When Abraham sent his servant to find Rebekah for Isaac, arriving at her brother Laban’s house the scriptures teach: “And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him. And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat until I have told mine errand. “ Genesis 24:31-33 One of Job’s claims to integrity and honor was the same: “The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler.” Until the last half of this century, it was considered sinful to “put up the traveling evangelist” in a motel room; he was invited into the home of most well to do in the church and treated like a king, not a stranger!!
Paul had a lot to complain about and these Jews were rightfully put in their place. These men had handed Paul an insult that ignored the “right of the traveler.” Put on the defensive by their abuse of a fellow traveler, these uppity-ups were schooled in “entertaining strangers.” Hebrews 13:2 Maybe this is enough on this subject, but I just wanted you to see this was a common practice of decency from the beginning of time and they had ignored it, they allowed Paul to be turned over to a Roman soldier!! That covers verse 16 and 17.
When Paul called for the important Jews to come to his house, more came than were expected. You can see why, overcome with the love for souls, the apostle determines to win them to Christ. When assembled the gospel preacher had his audience.
Paul again declares innocence. As mentioned before, this put them at a disadvantage because some of those who had been thrown out of Rome had no doubt been guilty of subversion—they were Jews! Oh! the way our ears would have burned to hear this great apostle defend his Lord, not for 15 or 20 minutes but from morning til evening!! The subject—the Church of Christ. What greater to the liking of Paul than a discussion of the Lord’s bride. For all our 7th Day Adventist friends, notice Paul reasoned with them out of the law of Moses AND the prophets. One another occasion something like this happened and the Word said: “their hearts burned within them!!
He began with the Old Testament Scriptures. If you ever get an opportunity to speak to those who think themselves Jews, start and stay with the Old Testament. You will be wasting valuable time citing the New Testament. “Some believed” while “some did not believe.” The gospel was delivered. Paul had their blood off his hands. If you ever think the gospel should be preached and an invitation to obey left silent, look at this example!!
“Well spoke the Holy Spirit.” Again, for the Jehovah”s Witnesses, the Holy Spirit can both speak, deliver, and defend the truth better than anyone. Wonder how many of these knew there was such a being as the Holy Spirit? Wonder if they knew He gave the Old Testament scriptures to their prophets and Moses? Isaiah they knew, but the Holy Spirit was a New testament concept; “they had not so much as heard if there be such a Being as the Holy Spirit!” The problem with these men was not the speaker (for all you who blame yourself when the person is not converted), it is their HEART!!