28:11-16 The common events of travelling are seldom worthy of being told; but the comfort of communion with the saints, and kindness shown by friends, deserve particular mention. The Christians at Rome were so far from being ashamed of Paul, or afraid of owning him, because he was a prisoner, that they were the more careful to show him respect. He had great comfort in this. And if our friends are kind to us, God puts it into their hearts, and we must give him the glory. When we see those even in strange places, who bear Christ's name, fear God, and serve him, we should lift up our hearts to heaven in thanksgiving. How many great men have made their entry into Rome, crowned and in triumph, who really were plagues to the world! But here a good man makes his entry into Rome, chained as a poor captive, who was a greater blessing to the world than any other merely a man. Is not this enough to put us for ever out of conceit with worldly favour? This may encourage God's prisoners, that he can give them favour in the eyes of those that carry them captives. When God does not soon deliver his people out of bondage, yet makes it easy to them, or them easy under it, they have reason to be thankful.
15. And from thence, when the brethren—of Rome
heard of us—by letter from Puteoli, and probably by the same conveyance which took Julius' announcement of his arrival.
they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum—a town forty-one miles from Rome.
and the Three Taverns—thirty miles from Rome. Thus they came to greet the apostle in two parties, one stopping short at the nearer, the other going on to the more distant place.
whom when Paul saw, he thanked God—for such a welcome. How sensitive he was to such Christian affection all his Epistles show (Ro 1:9, &c.).
and took courage—his long-cherished purpose to "see Rome" (Ac 19:21), there to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the divine pledge that in this he should be gratified (Ac 23:11), being now about to be auspiciously realized.