PAUL'S LAST WORDS TO HIS FRIENDS 319
"Brothers, although I have done nothing against the Jewish law or the customs of our fathers, I was handed over as a prisoner from Jerusalem to the Romans, who, when they had examined me, were willing to set me free, for I was innocent of any crime deserving of death. But the Jews objected; so I was forced to appeal to the Emperor—not that I had any charge to bring against my nation. This is the reason why I have asked to see you and speak with you, for it is on account of Israel's hope that I am bound."
They replied, "We have received no letters about you from Judea nor has any brother come here with any bad report or statement about you; but we wish to hear from you what you teach, for we know that the Christian sect is everywhere attacked." So they fixed a day and many of them came to him to the place where he was staying. Then from morning until evening he explained his teachings and told them about the Kingdom of God, and tried to lead them to believe in Jesus by proofs from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some believed what he taught and others would not believe. When they could not agree among themselves they departed after Paul had said to them: "Well did the Holy Spirit say to your fathers through the prophet Isaiah:
'Go to this people and say to them, You will hear and hear but never understand, You will look and look but never see; For this people's mind is stupid, And their ears are too dull to hear, And they have closed their eyes, To keep them from seeing with their eyes, Or hearing with their ears, Or understanding with their minds, And turning back that I may heal them.'
'Remember, therefore, that this opportunity to be saved, that God has given you, is given to other peoples, and they will listen to it." For two whole years Paul lived in his own hired house. He welcomed all who came to him, and preached the Kingdom of God, and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ openly, no one stopping him.
PAUL'S LAST WORDS TO HIS FRIENDS
Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, to all of Christ's followers in Philippi, as well as to the ministers and their helpers.