Forum of Appius and Three Taverns
ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Tuesday, October 6, 2020: Acts 28:11-16.
"The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us."
When we read scripture, and the names of places visited in the story, it's easy to miss something important. After all, we don't recognize the names of the places and so they don't mean much to us.
Paul is on the final leg of his journey to Rome. Today we read that believers heard that Paul was coming and met him on the road at the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns. The Forum of Appius was a marketplace on the Appian road about 40 miles, or a day's travel, from Rome. Three Taverns was another stop on the road 30 miles outside Rome containing a market, a blacksmith shop and a place of refreshment.
What's important is that evidently believers as far away as Rome had heard of Paul and his imprisonment. These were not the political or religious elites, but common even ordinary folks. They knew of Paul and his long journey and had been watching for him. It's clear that the gospel has traveled well ahead of Paul. It has taken almost two years since his first arrest, and yet the believers are waiting for him greeting him as he travels.
We're nearly finished with the book of Acts, and today we see in one simple sentence just how far the love of God in Christ Jesus has come. Thanks be to God!