Acts 28:1 “…the island was called Malta”
Small island south of Sicily. They thought they were totally lost, but apparently God kept them on course even through all the mess.
4 “…No doubt this man is a murderer…”
Islanders must have believed in Karma. Bad things must happen to bad people.
5 “…shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm”
Not sure why the miracle here. God could just as easily have the snake ignore Paul all together. May have been an introduction for Paul and the Gospel. The people believed in Karma or fate. Now they have seen obvious power, and Paul will be able to tell them about the God who has that power.
7-10 “…Paul…healed him…rest of those…who had diseases…were healed…honored us…provided such things as were necessary”
Miracle opened a door for ministry to the people of Malta. One wonders why God didn’t do this at other places. He meets people where they are. Some respond to logic and reason, others to action and emotion. Those of Malta were of the latter. God got their attention.
11 “After three months…”
Wintered on the island.
11 “…an Alexandrian ship…”
Another ship probably bringing grain to Rome. How fortunate that it was wintered on the island waiting to go on to Rome. Almost like someone planned it.
13-14 “…we came to Puteoli, where we found brethren…”
The Gospel had already spread to Italy. Exact source is unknown. I’m sure Paul wasn’t surprised, but it still reminds us that God doesn’t send us places. He is already there and bids us join Him.
15 “…When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.”
Finally saw the end of this stage of his journey. Like crossing the finish line.
21-22 “…We neither received letters from Judea concerning you…we desire to hear from you…”
Interesting that the Jews in Jerusalem didn’t send word to Rome about Paul. Others had gone from outer areas down to Jerusalem to oppose him, and the ones in Jerusalem were still trying to kill him. These Jews seem to be open minded. They’ve heard of the Christians and know that they are spoken against, but they don’t know exactly what it’s all about.
24 “…some were persuaded…some disbelieved”
At least they gave him a hearing.
29 “…the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves”
Sounds like those who heard and believed continued to debate with those who didn’t. I’m sure Paul referring them to the scriptures really fueled the discussion. At least he tried to reach the Jews first, those who by birth were supposed to be the recipients of the promise. Too bad they chose to not believe.
30 “…Paul dwelt two whole years…”
Unknown as to why it took two years or what transpired legally during that time. Certainly it was in God’s plan to provide Paul with ample opportunities to communicate the Gospel. Commentaries suggest the time it would take for his accusers to reach Rome if they were needed plus the reputation Rome had for delaying such matters may have been part of the reasons. Tradition says that Paul eventually had his hearing and was set free. He supposedly traveled as far as Spain before being detained by Rome again at some point and placed in prison. He is supposed to have been executed by the Romans. The Spirit has gone from arriving on the scene to overcoming every obstacle man could create to opening the door for the entire world to hear the good news.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.