Life is full of events and circumstances directing our paths in different ways. The apostle Paul expected God to guide and lead him. Are you doing the same?
[Darris McNeely] We never know where the roads of life are going to take us. We make plans, we have hopes and dreams, we prepare for journeys and a way of life, and sometimes events and circumstances and sometimes God has other things in mind. This is the Appian Way. This is the entry right now into Rome. The apostle Paul has come this far on his journey from Caesarea by ship to Rome, where he appealed to the emperor. He’s landed at Puteoli. He has been met by members who came and began to escort him many miles further south into Rome. He stopped at the Three Taverns. He has travelled along the Appian Way, and he’s come to this spot.
This is what’s left of an entryway of the Appian Way, where it came into Rome. In Acts 28:16 Acts 28:16And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
American King James Version×, Luke records it this way, very simply: “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.” Paul walked right through this way and as he came to Rome, he saw the Hippodrome just behind me. He saw the palace of the emperor on the Palatine Hill. He saw all the buildings of the Forum and the Senate and the temples as he made his way into Rome itself and found quarters, likely, in the area where the Jews had gathered, the area probably where tanners and dyers and laundry people did their work, and there he set up his house. He had come this far because he’d appealed to Caesar while on trial in Caesarea because of the charges made by the Jews against him. Paul had wanted to come to Rome. He had written earlier to the small church in Rome that he planned to come to them, but probably on his own will, on his own time, and not necessarily as a prisoner of Rome, but this is where he found himself at this particular point, beholding the immense grandeur of Rome itself at the very heart of the Roman Empire.
Paul didn’t expect that he would come to Rome this way, but he did, and he found himself here for a period of time and he was under those circumstances allowed and able to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, and – even ultimately to where it had influence. And that word crept into the emperor’s household in some way, some manner. And so, we think about this as – on this particular trip. We’ve been on a kind of a journey to retrace the steps of Paul in the land of Italy, and to try to understand exactly what the world at that time was like, and many lessons. But one that comes to mind right here, standing in the Appian Way as it enters Rome, is that life, circumstances, events and even sometimes God moves us along journeys and paths that we don’t always design for ourselves, but we go each day, expecting that God is guiding us and God is leading us, just as Paul expected and understood that in his time and way, as he was led to do the work God gave to him.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.