An audience forced to listen
All the saints greet you, and especially those of the house of Caesar.
Not all suffering is physical. Sometimes we go through emotional and mental suffering. Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians. His ministry had been greatly reduced; However, he told the Philippians that his imprisonment had actually contributed to the advancement of the gospel. Being chained to Roman soldiers, he had the opportunity to win them to the Lord (v. 13).
Some kind of revival was taking place in Caesar’s palace, evidently leading to the salvation of some, as today’s verse indicates. The soldiers did not know who they were holding: they believed they had a prisoner, but in reality they had an evangelist for whom they were an audience that had no choice but to listen! What an example of rejoicing in the midst of a frustrating and discouraging situation!