The book of Acts ends on a somewhat unsatisfying note. After all that Paul has been through—imprisonment, trial, shipwreck—we expect a showdown with Caesar or mass conversions of the Jews. Instead, the plot seems to sputter out.
Paul arrives in Rome and appeals to the Jews living there. He quotes Isaiah to the Jewish leaders: “You will keep on hearing, and will never understand, and you will keep on seeing and will never perceive” (Acts 28:26). When they fail to respond, Paul determines to reach out to the Gentiles. “They also will listen” (Acts 28:28) and will respond differently.
The poignant end of this book leaves Paul “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord JesusChrist with all boldness, without hindrance” (Acts 28:30). Facing either rejection or reception, he continues proclaiming the good news to both Jew and Gentile.
Paul is a key player in the Church that is being gathered by Jesus C…