Acts 28:1-16 – Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. 7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. 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.
“There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.” Since Publius was a common among Romans it is likely that this “chief official” was Roman. The title of “chief official” is derived from the Greek word “prōtos” which means basically that he was first in any succession of things or persons. Publius was the man in charge.
Publius must have been affluent to offer this large group his home to stay for three days and to give them “generous hospitality.” Isn’t this how we find life? Paul and his shipmates had been through treacherous times in the Mediterranean Sea, but after that time, they were now on the Mediterranean Island of Malta and warmly welcomed to the home of the chief official who fed them. From the roughest sea to the calm of a large estate in a beautiful setting. Paul’s life, and so often ours, can seem like river rafting floating by beautiful sights, and other times rushing in and through life threatening rapids. The Lord knows how keep us, and how to grow us. His wisdom is so beyond ours and that makes us wonder why we would ever doubt Him.
The father of Publius became dangerously ill. Surely Publius had heard of how Paul was bitten by a viper and suffered no ill effects. With hope, Publius inquired of Paul to minister to his father. Paul went in to see the man and after Paul had sought the Lord in prayer, he placed his hands on the man and the man was healed. Of course the word of the healing spread and as a result many of the sick on the island were brought to him and they were healed. What is curious about all of this is that it is not written that any came to the Lord. Some had taken that to mean that none did. However, based on what we know of Paul we can be pretty sure that he shared the Gospel. The healings were God given evidence that God was with Paul. The healings were a ringing bell to bring people to the man of God who would in turn bring them to the feet of Jesus. No it is not specifically said, but it seems, knowing what we know how the Lord used Paul, very logical.
The people welcomed and blessed Paul and his shipmates. Paul, like John and Peter in Acts 3:1-10, did not have silver and gold to pay back the people of Malta for their hospitality, but what he did have he gave to them. He shared with them the power of God and many were healed. Surely that led them to know what, or who, did Paul have that allowed him pray for the sick and they were healed. As the ship left Malta the people made sure that they were well stocked for their journey. Paul had given them more than they had given him. Like God has given us so much more than we could ever give back to him. Paul gave to the islanders out of love, not obligation. He gave as his Lord had given to him. We should also give to others as our Lord has given to us.
Jesus said that trials would come our way. Yet the times of trouble and peace are like the ebb of flow of the ocean. How true Proverbs 3:1-8. Peace and troubles have a time and a place and each are packed with God’s lessons to us. Tough times harden our bones and toughen our skin. Yet, if we heed the spirit, as our chins grow stronger our hearts grow softer and our minds wiser and discerning. The tough times remind us to be grateful to He who keeps us through them. He also gives us good times that allow us to catch our breath. In the bad times we learn of the faithfulness, goodness and love of God. In the good times we pause to think about how good God is to us. In the tough and the good times we grow in godly wisdom as our gratitude is given to God in praise and obedient service. Then, our hearts are more full, our joy more overflowing, and our peace more imperturbable. Our God is wise beyond our understanding. Our God is wholly good. Our God loves us beyond our comprehension. The more we know these things, the more joy and peace will fill our souls. Praise God!
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown You, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of You but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Your God.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Acts, Micah, Numbers, proverbs, Psalm by Bob with