Luke doesn’t give us details in the book of Acts of the Apostles about what took place during the two years of Paul’s house imprisonment in Rome. The only information we have for these two years is taken from the four epistles, generally believed to have been written from Rome during this period. These books are: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. From these epistles, we learn the following:
- Paul suffered both mentally and physically in his captivity (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; Phil. 1:16; Col. 4:18; Philemon 1, 9, 10).
- He felt apprehension for the outcome of his trial (Phil. 2:23, 24).
- Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2) were with him, as well as Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), who took the epistle to Ephesus, and Timothy, whose name was joined with his in letters to Philippi (Phil. 1:1), to Colossae (Col. 1:1), and to the born again slaveowner, Philemon (Philemon 1).
- Epaphroditus transported to Paul aid from Philippi (Phil. 4:18).
- Onesimus, who had fled from his master Philemon, got to meet with Paul while he was in Rome (Col. 4:9; Philemon 10).
- Mark, Barnabas’ relative, Jesus (Justus), and Epaphras from Colossae were also with Paul (Col. 4:10–12).
- Demas was with Paul (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:10).
- Paul received financial help from the believers in Rome and elsewhere, probably Philippi (Phil. 4:18), for Paul was no longer able to work as a tent maker to provide for his own expenses.
Although Paul was a prisoner, neither emperor, tribune, guard, nor Jew prohibited him from preaching the gospel of Christ. And his evangelism was so powerful during these years that he could say “the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).
In His service,