In the spring of A.D. 61, Paul had been on the island of Malta for over three months where he performed miraculous healings and advanced the gospel, sharing the truth about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. The apostle was on the island after the Alexandrian grain ship that carried him, along with other prisoners under the guard of Roman soldiers was shipwrecked on Malta after drifting 600 miles off course for over two weeks.
“11 After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days.” (Acts 29:11-12)
When spring came, and the weather was more suitable for sailing, the soldiers and prisoners boarded another Alexandrian ship and sailed 80 miles north east toward Syracuse, located on the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, where they stayed three days.
The ship’s figurehead featured the “Twin Brothers,” Castor and Pollux, both legendary sea gods worshiped by Greeks and Romans alike.
“13 From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, 14 where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome.” (Acts 29:13-14)
Shortly after they arrived at Rhegium, located at the tip of Italy’s “toe,” as the wind was favorable to sailing on, the ship continued north to Puteoli, a harbor city located on the north side of the Gulf of Naples. As there were few larger harbors closer to Rome, in those days Puteoli was considered the capital’s official port. There, Paul and those with him stayed one week before they headed 170 miles north, toward Rome.
While at Puteoli, those believers on their way to Rome were blessed to stay with brethren, members of a sizeable fellowship which Paul had previously mentioned and longed to visit.
“15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.” (Acts 29:15)
After spending a week at Puteoli, the envoy continued their journey to Rome, now only 170 miles away along the Consular Way to Capua, and also the Appian Way to Rome, named after Appius Claudius and built for military purposes to transport military troops and supplies.
When they heard that Paul was near Rome, members of the Roman fellowship traveled south 40 miles to Three Inns, a town often used by travelers, then 10 miles further to Appii Forum to meet with the apostle.
“16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.” (Acts 29:16)
When at Rome, the prisoners were delivered to Burrhus, the captain of the Prætorian Guard. But, on the account of Julius, the centurion in charge of the prisoners’ transfer, Paul was allowed to choose his own dwelling place. Yet chained to a guard, the apostle preferred staying with brethren rather than the Prætorian camp, the permanent Roman fortress. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre