11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. Acts 28:11-16
It’s simply amazing how fast the Gospel had spread. Everywhere they went, Believers greeted them. They traveled great distances to see meet Paul.
He needed the encouragement because he was ready to appear before Caesar. Before that, though, he would be speaking with the local Jewish leaders. They had only heard the rumors about what Paul had said. For Paul, though, this was yet another opportunity to present the Gospel in a public forum. It’s no wonder the Gospel had spread so quickly.
I believe God provided Paul with a place to live with very few distractions going into his meeting in Rome. He had a chance to collect his thoughts, pray, and of course, to witness to the one guard assigned to him. All of this is speculation on my part, but it wouldn’t be out of Paul’s character to do all of that.
Finding time away from the masses and family can be challenging. Sometimes it’s only a minute or two here and there. Slowing down in a fast paced society is totally against the nature of some, but it’s necessary.