The brothers and sisters in Rome had heard we were coming, and they came to meet us at the Forum on the Appian Way. Others joined us at The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God.
When we arrived in Rome, Paul was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier.
— Acts 28:15-16 NLT
Paul was now far from Jerusalem and the people who had caused him so much trouble. Even though he was a prisoner, he was welcomed by other believers. In fact, he was more than welcomed; the other believers walked a long way to meet him and accompany him to Rome! Let's recognize how remarkable their action was. They weren't giving him a ride in a car; they walked a long way to meet him (about 64 km or 40 mi to the Forum and about 50 km or 31 mi to The Three Taverns) and a long way back to let him know he was not alone! Paul's response should be ours when people are hospitable to us because of Jesus. We should be greatly encouraged and thank God! In addition, Paul was treated very fairly by the Romans under whose authority he was a prisoner. A trip that began with false accusations, murder plots, and escape in the night* became a parade of fellowship into the capital of the Roman Empire. Paul was still a prisoner whose life hung in the balance. He had shown, however, that nothing could deter him from his mission of sharing God's grace with those who needed it most and who appreciated it greatly!
Dear Father, I desperately want my life to always display a similar triumph of grace as Paul's did. Awaken my passion for fulfilling your mission for my life. Please open my eyes to the preciousness of your people. Thank you for the assurance of your presence with me wherever I go because I am yours in Jesus. I pray and thank you in my Lord's most holy name. Amen.