Experts tell us that if we want to do a better job of working out our differences with family and friends, we should try to avoid using the words “never” and “always.” Telling someone that they never take the garbage out or that they always forget their wallet just adds fuel to the fire of disagreement.
In this story, Paul has been taken to Rome and meets with the Jewish leaders there. He spends the whole day teaching and testifying to them about Jesus. The outcome is not what Paul had hoped. He bursts out against the Jewish people. Although verse 24 indicates that some of the Jewish leaders were convinced and others were not, Paul describes all Jewish people as listening and never understanding, looking and never perceiving. (verse 26) This does not seem to me to be an effective way of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ!
Paul continued to live in Rome for two years and he welcomed all who came to him, preaching and teaching about Jesus. (verses 30-31) We cannot tell if the people who came included Jewish people or not. Did Paul come to realize his unkindness? We don’t know.
God, you love all people. Forgive us when we stereotype people and fail to show your love. Amen. — JN