The latter days of the apostle Paul’s life were not easy. After many years of faithful service he is now under house arrest in Rome, bound always with a chain to a soldier. Just think of the physical and personal hardship of that. No matter what Paul did, or went, he had a Roman soldier bound to him. The first two years of his imprisonment he was confined to “his own hired house” (Acts 28:30). He had to pay the rent. Paul was not allowed out, but people could come and visit him. What a ministry was conducted in that little house in Rome.
Paul’s congregation was varied. As always he preached and taught “those things which concern the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 28:31). He had a captive audience in the daily rotation of soldiers in his chained guard, changed every eight hours. That this was effective is clear from his impact on “Caesar’s court” (Philippians 1:13 margin) during the reign of the wicked Nero. Then many others, both Jew and Gentile, came to visit and hear the Gospel.
Paul did a mammoth work in his missionary journeys and touched the lives of thousands of people. But Paul’s greatest work was probably done in the little house in Rome. Not only did he audibly connect with people, but he was a writer, laboring under difficult circumstances. Every word was written with a Roman soldier looking over his shoulder. It was here that he penned his epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and to Philemon. Despite the opposition from the Jews he penned the divine commentary on Leviticus, the book of Hebrews. He wrote it from that little house in Rome and said to them, “Ye had compassion of me in my bonds” (Hebrews 10:34). By the grace of God Paul turned difficult circumstances into an oasis of hope. How are we using “our little house”?