When Paul lived in Caesarea, it probably felt more like Rome than Israel. Roman buildings, Roman rulers, and from his vantage point, Roman prisons. For two years, Paul awaited trial, and as always, he used every opportunity to tell people the gospel. While in Caesarea, the apostle had the attention of three officials. And Paul, the one who had threatened previously to bring Christians to their knees, now stood before a Roman gover-nor with his arms open wide, saying, “This One I persecuted is in fact the Son of God.”
Paul articulated the gospel of Christ like no one else. He wrote more books in the New Testament than any other person. He gave the church a strong theological foundation. Through Paul’s life and words, we see what it means to be a believer dedicated to the cause of Jesus Christ. He laid aside creature comforts, the familiarity of home, and the delights of his academic pursuits to set out on a mission which would take him all the way to the throne room of the Roman Empire.
Why? Because of the lure of words like Herod Agrippa’s to Paul: “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Paul’s testimony of words and life almost convinced the king to follow Christ (Acts 26:27–29 NKJV).
While we can marvel at the impact of Paul’s life and words on a hardened king, don’t miss the simple message to us. Our lives cause other people to form their opinions about Christ and Christianity.
- As the administrative capital for the Romans, Caesarea represented the official seat of government for more than six centuries.
- It was a busy port and a naval base of the Roman Empire.
- Pontius Pilate lived here during Jesus’s time.
- Here Peter baptized the first Gentile convert, Cornelius (Acts 10).
- Paul was imprisoned here for more than two years (Acts 23:23–24:27).