It’s an amazing place to just stand and reflect for a moment as to exactly what Paul did and what he accomplished in imprisonment in Rome.
[Darris McNeely] Once again, I’m here in an underground area of the city of Rome – the area where the apostle Paul rented a room during his first imprisonment, where he had appealed to the Caesar because of the charges made against him back in Israel. He’s come here after a long journey, and he’s rented a room in the area where the tanners and the laundry was done in Rome in that time, and it’s a very uncomfortable area, in terms of just the environment, the smells, the working class environment. This was not a luxury place where Paul had found his lodgings here. It was here that he wrote what we call the prison epistles – Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon – during his first imprisonment.
When you think about how Paul had already made great strides in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God to the first century Roman world, and then he comes here and he finds himself imprisoned, and he tells them through those letters of Ephesians and Philippians and Colossians that they represent a coming way of life, they represent the coming kingdom of God – there’s a vibrant, positive approach that Paul has. There’s a deep understanding that he himself is a slave of God. He has renounced all that was near and dear to him in his life, and these scraps of information come out through those epistles. Paul had long since put his vision and his sight upon God and upon Christ, and upon the Kingdom of God, and he had walked away from everything that he had been a part of. Right here, he was amongst people that he had labored among in another life – tanners, tentmakers, people who dealt with leather and heavy sail cloth – and Paul had experienced quite a bit. And he gives them certain essential tools to know how to deal with his world and his life, and their job, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
It’s an amazing place to just stand and reflect for a moment as to exactly what Paul did and what he accomplished in imprisonment in the Roman world in the first century.
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