In Chains and in God’s Will

When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, he was seized and incarcerated. Once again he received some spectacular guidance in the form of a vision of Jesus:

But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his [Paul’s] side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also” (Acts. 23:11).

Notice that Jesus did not say, “Now Paul, what are you doing here? I tried to warn you not to come to Jerusalem!” No, Jesus actually confirmed the leading that Paul had perceived in his spirit months before. Paul was in the center of God’s purpose in Jerusalem in order to testify on behalf of Jesus. He would eventually proclaim Christ in Rome as well.

We must keep in mind that part of Paul’s original calling was to testify not only before Jews and Gentiles but also before kings (see Acts 9:15). In the course of Paul’s imprisonment in Jerusalem and later in Caesarea, he was given the opportunity to testify before Governor Felix, Porcius Festus, and King Agrippa, who was “almost persuaded” (Acts 26:28) to believe in Jesus. Finally, Paul was sent to Rome to testify before the Roman Emperor himself, Nero.