“And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara” (Acts 21:1). On his return voyage home from his third missionary journey, Paul met disciples nearly everywhere he went. At Tyre he said, “And finding disciples we tarried there seven days;” at Ptolemais he “saluted the brethren” and the next day he was off to Caesarea where he entered into the house of Philip the evangelist (2).
There are three points to be made here. First, the Word had spread so effectively throughout the civilized world that it touched islands and pockets of people. God was planting truth in hearts, causing man to turn from idols and all the immoral practices that went with it. The truth was so profound that news spread quickly. New liberty was found in the small groups, in major cities and on islands dotting the western coast of Turkey. Secondly, when Paul entered a city, he made every effort to contact the brethren, eager to see how the “vine had flourished” and “whether the tender grape had appeared” (Song of Solomon 7:12).
What a marvel to meet the brethren today anywhere in the world, to break bread as brothers and sisters, and have the sense of unity and love that entered our hearts though Christ Jesus. Lastly the people of God are admonished to be hospitable.