From Malta to Rome it’s a 210-mile sail. The first sixty miles to Sicily is the dangerous part over open seas, and then the Apostle Paul’s ship will face the protected sail along the eastern coast of Sicily and then up the southwestern coast of Italy to destination Rome. The twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, the sons of the Greek god Zeus and Leda, the queen of Sparta, were called the “savior gods” by the Romans and Greeks, and they were especially venerated in Alexandria, the ship’s home port. These pagan gods might be carved on the front of Paul’s ship and the sailors and Roman soldiers might be looking to them for safety across the Mediterranean, but it’s the Creator of the wind and the sea who has Paul’s back.
“After three months, we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered on the island. Its figurehead was the Twin Brothers (the gods Castor and Pollux). We landed at Syracuse where we stayed for three days. Casting off from there we arrived at Rhegium. We stayed there for one day and the next day when the south wind began to blow we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers who begged us to stay with them. So we stayed for seven days and then came to Rome.
When the brothers heard about us, they came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. When we arrived in Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier to guard him.” Acts 28: 11-16
A brother called me up this weekend and said, “Just thinking about you. Wanted to touch base and let you know I’m praying for you.” There’s nothing like brothers and sisters who show up to pour strength into our lives as we make the journey.
LORD, thanks for first-century brothers and sisters who didn’t forget Paul even though he was a prisoner and had never been to Rome before. Thanks to believers today who still go out of their way to encourage those who teach them your Word.
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