Either the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem gave up, or the attempt to make Rome in the fall put Paul’s group far enough ahead that the reports hadn’t arrived yet. Either way, Paul is able to address the Jewish leadership in Rome without their hostility, and he shares with them how the law and the prophets reveal that Jesus is the Messiah. Apparently some believe, but others don’t, and they argue amongst themselves and begin to leave. Paul uses Isaiah 6:9-10 to illustrate how the Jewish people have continually hardened their hearts to God’s message. That’s why he’ll bring the gospel to the Gentiles: they’ll believe!
Paul here continues the pattern he’s had throughout his ministry in Acts. He starts with the Jewish people first, where he has experienced limited success and outright hostility! After that he preaches to the Gentiles because they are willing to listen and they don’t try to kill him! He does this for two years in Rome, and fulfills the promise of Jesus at the beginning of Acts:
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We need to remember that what God has said, God will do. He just does it in His time and His way!