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Acts 28





Today we are in the 28th chapter of Acts where we see the Apostle Paul on the last leg of his journey to Rome. They are now shipwrecked on the island of Malta. They are cold and wet and were building a fire to try and warm themselves. Paul was gathering wood to put on the fire and a viper came out and fastened onto his hand as it bit him. The natives of the island assumed that because Paul was a prisoner, that he was a murderer and he would die from the snakebite because of justice. They waited for him to swell up and fall down dead and when he didn’t, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

God didn’t save Paul from the storm just to let him die from a snake. Paul’s life had a God plan and that plan was for him to go to Rome to preach the gospel. I like that Paul saw the plan and still used every day and every opportunity to show and preach the gospel. Even in shipwreck and poisonous snake bite, Paul used the opportunity to show Jesus. Paul healed the father of the leading man on the island and as a result the rest of the people on the island who had diseases came and were healed.

They left Malta and sailed on and found fellow Christians at their stops and encouraged them and were encouraged. Eventually they were greeted outside Rome by Christians from the city who came to meet them. They honored Paul by greeting him as emperors were greeted when they arrived in Rome by going out to meet him and walking the long journey as he came into the city. This love and honor caused Paul to thank God and gave him courage for what was ahead.

This is a reminder to us to go out of our way to encourage others and walk with them in their hard places. Paul finally arrived in Rome. He was allowed to live by himself in a rented house, although he was constantly under the supervision of a Roman guard and often chained. Because he was chained and guarded, he literally had a captive audience to preach to. Paul always took the opportunity to call the Jewish leaders together to impress on them that he had not forsaken Israel and that they were still brothers to him. He let them know that the Romans were willing to let him go.

The Jewish leaders asked Paul to tell them about Jesus and Christianity. In verses 23-24 it says,

“So, when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.” By speaking for the kingdom of God, Paul showed them that in Jesus, God brought a spiritual kingdom in man’s heart, because most of the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah with a political kingdom, not a spiritual one.

After Paul had spoken, they disagreed among themselves and left with Paul quoting Isaiah, saying,

“Go to the people and say, you will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive. For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.” Paul told the Jewish leaders as they left; “that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” Just because some of them rejected God’s salvation did not make that salvation of no effect. It just meant it would go out to those people who would hear and accept it. It says in this last chapter of Acts that Paul lived two whole years in his own house and preached and taught about the kingdom of God with all confidence and no one stopped him. The word of God continued to spread and change lives. The book of Acts is still alive today by the power of the Holy Spirit, spreading the truth of Jesus Christ.

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Jun 13, 2023

I love the way the scriptures are highlighted and emphasize, it makes studying the word so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. 🙏

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