The Apostle Paul stayed at a house in Rome for two years. He was not allowed to go outside.
Sounds like today in America.
Paul’s was not a self-imposed quarantine but a Caesar-imposed quarantine. He was in prison awaiting trial. In ancient Rome, prisoners could choose to be imprisoned in a dungeon (not good!) or a house that they rented.
Paul rented a house and was chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for a little over two years.
During this current time of isolation in America, many have begun hobbies.
Paul took the time to write letters to Christians and churches throughout the Roman Empire. Four of those letters contained in the New Testament are called the Prison Epistles.
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
What was on Paul’s mind when he wrote his letters. If I was in Paul’s predicament, I would be writing morning thoughts to interrupt all of your lives, to complain about my circumstances.
HmmmhHmmmmH! Maybe I’m already do that!
What would you do? Twitter 240 characters of complaints hourly 0r glum selfie’s with your Roman guard photo-bombing or e-mail an order to McDonalds for home delivery of a Big Mac– two Big Macs because you want to keep your guard happy.
Paul focused on knowing God. I’m teaching below …
There are two main words used for know in the Greek: ginosko which means relational or intimate knowing and oida which is educational knowing. Like 2 + 2 = 5. (My math grades in school reflected low oida.)
Besides writing letters, the Apostle Paul focused on praying for churches throughout the Roman Empire. In the Prison Epistles Paul writes these prayers.
Let’s listen …
To the Ephesians … may God give you insight in how to live and new revelation from the presence (knowledge) of Jesus. – Ephesians 1: 17 (OGV)
To the Philippians … I pray that the way you love others and self will be inspired and informed by an intimacy with Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:8 (OGV)
To the Colossians… From the day I heard of your faith, I have not stopped praying for you to be intimate with the presence of Jesus and have the wisdom needed to effectively do His will .
While Paul was in Caesar-Quarantine, he wrote letters to encourage others and he prayed for them.
You can’t be more up close and personal than being chained to someone. Paul was always chained to a Roman guard. The Praetorian Guards chained to Paul were the special forces of the day — the Navy Seals.
Paul writes in Philippians that his circumstances resulted in many of these guards becoming followers of Jesus.
Prayer, Encouraging letters, and sharing Jesus — three great hobbies for a quarantine.