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. putting in at syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 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. there we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. and so we came to rome. [acts 28:11-14]


in this passage, luke narrates the circumstances that get them to their destination, geographical stops along the way (syracuse, rhegium, puetol), are pointless, unless luke is attempting to record historical events. luke gives another detail, about the alexandrian ship that takes them to their definition. at the mast of the ship–a figurehead of the twin-half-brother-sons of zeus, tyndareus and leda (it’s complicated)–castor and pollux.


where do we put our trust?


 it is in these twin greek gods that the sailors put their trust in paul’s day–they were akin to patron saints for sailors, accepting prayers and devotion (especially in stormy weather) to get the sailors to their destination. building ships with these two at the masthead were a form of insurance and devotion.


paul and luke knew that these were only images and idols: they had no power to take them to rome safely. they trust God’s promise to get them to rome. paul is told in acts 23–


the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in jerusalem, so you must testify also in rome.” [acts 23:11]


luke ends acts 28:14 matter-of-factly: “and so we came to rome.” as paul’s traveling companion, luke has experienced much hardship, and has witnessed miracles and impossibilities. he certainly had his doubts, but when Jesus’ words come to fruition, luke must have thought “of course–i should have trusted all along!” 


we are the same. as you come into the presence of the Lord today, ask yourself: “what is my ‘castor and pollux’–what worldly things do i put my trust in, even subconsciously as a backup just in case God doesn’t come through?”


my wealth?

my family?

my reputation?

my career/position?

my good works?


God will fulfill his promises:


for all the promises of God find their yes in him. that is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. and it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. [2 corinthians 1:20-22]


let us not trust in the devices of men, but in our sovereign God!