11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.
If you were a first century Greek with some interest in this Jesus person and His followers, this section right here would be the end of the story for you. They had strong beliefs in the power of fate and the power of circumstances to show judgment.
Kind of like people today that blame their circumstances on ‘unconfessed sin’ or ‘not living right.’ The Greek gods were skilled in meting out justice with weather, the sea, illness, and yes – circumstances.
So Luke pointed to some of that but stayed true to the God who
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV
Even the twin gods on the front of the boat couldn’t help or hurt Paul. He has now been delivered to Rome just like the angel told him and with warm reception.
Paul has been trying to come to Rome for years. He’s written to them, sent people to them, and prayed for them. Now, under the watch of a Roman guard (who could be a new guard or one that has travelled with him on the sea voyage) he is able to welcome guests and have an otherwise normal life in the city.
This is such a great turn of events from being stoned by religious leaders, imprisoned for 2 years in Palestine, and lost at sea!
Paul thanked God and took courage. His work is not done yet. God is working and moving in each one of us all of the way in and through our final breath.
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