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.
17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v13 “a south wind sprang up” – what a coincidence! A south wind blew the ship so that it arrived in Puteoli. And in Puteoli there happened to be some Christian brothers there. God uses this to bring Paul into fellowship with believers. God doesn’t take them straight to Rome, but puts Paul just far enough to give him time meet up with the growing number of Christians in and around Rome.
- v15 Puteoli was a major port that took road traffic directly to Rome. It’s for this reason that Luke writes that they had essentially come to Rome. Paul would be travelling on road from Puteoli to Rome itself.
- v15 “On seeing them, Paul thanks God and took courage.” What is Paul thanking God for? Probably for the faith of the believers in Rome – but also for letting Paul share in fellowship with them. By meeting with these believers Paul takes courage. He faces an uncertain future, but is encouraged by the faith and fellowship of the other believers.
- v.21 Amazingly, Paul ends up arriving there, and there are no accusations or information presented to the local officials. Instead they eagerly desire to hear about Christianity! God works in amazing ways.
submitted by Bert Han
PRAYING IN FAITH
God’s plans are greater than ours. Submit your life to His plan today and discover the freedom that comes with trusting in Him.
For your Five
When you spend time with your five this week, pray that God lets those times of conversation be extra special – so they have a taste of what it’s like to have fellowship with believers.
For Our Church
Remember the brothers and sisters that we support as missionaries. Spend time praying for them or write them a note of encouragement, so that they will thank God and take courage in their situations.