Acts 28

Acts 28 begins with the shipwrecked crew and passengers figuring out that they had crashed on Malta.  The native people opened their island to them.  “When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand”.  Paul is helping make some warmth and a poisonous snake attacked him.  “When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live”.

They knew that the bite of a viper was deadly, so they were just handing around to watch Paul die.  “But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god”.  That’s not how things went.  You get bit, you die.  But Paul obviously had God’s hand upon him.  Paul had a chance to heal the father of the leader on the island, which opened the floodgates to any who were sick.  After three months or so, they board a vessel that has been docked there to continue their journey to Rome.

They finally get to the destination.  Some Christ Followers hear of Paul’s arrival and go to greet him.  “On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage”.  Sometimes we just need to see a friendly face.  Paul is excited to see some folks who weren’t out to kill him for a change, but wanted to spend time with him.  He arrives and asks to meet with the Jews to explain why he was there.  “But because the Jews objected, I was compelled  to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against  my nation. For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of  the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain”.  He’s come all this way to appeal his case, and the Jews in Jerusalem didn’t even know what he was talking about.

So Paul asks for the opportunity to tell them, and to share the Good News of Jesus.  “From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to  the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets”.  Paul has yet another chance to tell his story.  Some got it, some did not.  “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, having much dispute among themselves”.   Paul again manages to put the Jewish leaders on different sides of the table.  That allowed him to stay and live his life. “He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance”.  He spends two years preaching Jesus in Rome without any interference.  That’s success!

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