PAUL'S ARRIVAL AT ROME
After three months, they set sail on another ship that wintered on the island. They were on the island of Malta from October to January. The ship was another Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods of Rome: Castor and Pollux. The Romans believed they were the gods protecting the ships from danger. When they reached the port of Syracuse, they stayed there for three days. Then they continued to sail to the port of Rhegium. The next day they caught a favorable wind from the south that carried their ship faster to the port of Puteoli. Upon arrival there, Paul met Gentile believers whom he spent a week with them. Other believers from the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns met Paul on the way to Rome. Paul was thankful to God and encouraged when he saw the believers in Rome. Paul was put on house arrest with a prison guard, where he could live alone and be free to meet with people. Paul finally arrived in Rome just as the Lord promised him. Paul preached the gospel for two years under house arrest as he awaited to appear before Caesar. (Road to Rome map) (Acts 28:11-16).
Through shipwrecks and a long, difficult journey, Paul was refreshed and encouraged when he saw the believers in Rome. It was unknown how the Gentile Christians became believers because no one had gone there before. Many speculate that these believers became Christians through people who came to know the Lord from other regions, such as Macedonia, Greece, Asia, or Judea. One thing for certain is that the believers became witnesses wherever they went during this time. It was no longer only through the Apostles that people got saved, but God was using ordinary people to make Him known. When Paul met them, he felt no longer alone in his faith journey. He had brothers and sisters in the Lord who supported and loved him and were willing to come alongside him.
All of us who genuinely believe in the Lord Jesus are all one family. We are all brothers and sisters adopted by our Heavenly Father through faith in the Lord Jesus. There will come a time when all of us from different parts of the world will meet as one family, and we will have a huge banquet with our Heavenly Father. In the meantime, we need each other, just as Paul needed the believers in Rome.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Am I willing to let my faith known with others just as the believers during the time of Paul? Who do I belong to?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for being a part of your family. Thank you for adopting me as your child through faith in the Lord Jesus. Please help me not to forsake the gathering of other believers, who are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I need them just as they need me. Thank you that someday, we will all come together and be with you forever. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.