Before we begin, if you’d like a quick overview of Paul and how God called him, read here: God’s Forgiveness – Paul the Apostle.
In Acts 9:15, we see that Jesus has plans for Paul to preach to the Gentiles, to kings, and to the Children of Israel. That’s a wide group of people, and to mention kings specifically sounds very important. That’s a great work! But in the next verse we see that suffering is involved. Ministry was hardly ever glamorous for Paul. In fact, the way Paul ended up speaking to kings was by being arrested for preaching about Jesus, then appealing his case to Caesar! On top of that, it took a long time to even get him started on his way there, and he was shipwrecked on the way!
But Paul didn’t let imprisonment dampen his zeal and ministry. God doesn’t waste our time where He puts us, and while waiting to see Caesar, Paul got right on board with God for a prison ministry! I wonder what it was like for the soldiers that took turns guarding Paul while he was imprisoned. Whether people were coming to visit Paul or whether he was between visitors, the guards were a captive audience! I wonder about the interactions between Paul and a guard. Did they ever banter about who was the real captive here? Was there any joking about Paul not realizing he was a prisoner? How much did each soldier enjoy or dread guarding, hearing, and talking with Paul? Since eventually Paul was likely being held near or on palace grounds, think of the people he had access to and the conversations he had! In Philippians 4:22, we see that he had even gotten the gospel into Caesar’s household, and they were greeting fellow Christians through Paul’s letter!