Acts Chapter 28
Paul in the Island of Malta:
(Read Acts 28:1-10)
Paul and the rest of the people who escaped the shipwreck, landed on the island of Malta. The term "barbarous" does not refer to primitive culture but simply means they spoke unintelligible language. The people of the island were very kind to them. They had shown kindness by building fire to welcome Paul and others. While Paul was putting the stick to the fire, a viper fastened on his hand. The native people said to each other “No doubt this man is a murderer, though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live”. This was a common thought among those people. However, Paul shook off the snake into the fire and suffered no harm. Then they changed their mind and said that he was a god. As a result, the chief of the island, whose name was Publius, treated them kindly for three days. His father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul prayed and he was healed. Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. As a result, Islanders supplied them with everything needed for their trip. Christians are saved to serve others (Ephesians 2:10). Pray that God would give you a heart of compassion towards people who are hurting. This is one of the effective ways to witness Christ.
Paul Arrives at Rome:
(Read Acts 28:11-16)
In spite of difficulties and trials, Paul was determined to spread the gospel, and nothing could stop him from his mission. After three months they sailed on another ship and reached Syracuse and then to Puteoli. There they found some believers, who invited them to spend a week with them. By this time Christians believers could be found everywhere in the Roman Empire. Finally, Paul reached Rome. When the believers at Rome had heard that Paul was coming, they came to meet him. When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God for them. Luke was a faithful companion to Paul throughout this journey and imprisonment in Rome (Colossians 4:14). When Paul reached Rome, he was allowed to stay in a house by himself with soldiers who guarded him. During the two-year imprisonment period, Paul was allowed to receive visitors (Acts 28:30). He looked for an opportunity to preach gospel at all times.
Paul’s Ministry at Rome:
(Read Acts 28:17-31)
Paul spent two years in a rented house and received visitors. During this time Paul wrote the letters of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians. Three days after his arrival, he called the local Jewish leaders and explained his encounter with Jews back in Jerusalem. He had done nothing against his people. When the Romans tried and found Paul innocent, they wanted to set him free, but Jews objected to it. So, he was compelled to appeal to Caesar. They said to Paul “We have received no letter from Judea about you and none spoke evil against you. We want to hear what you believe for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere". When they came to hear Paul, he testified of the kingdom of God from morning to evening and tried to persuade them from the scripture that Jesus is the Messiah. The entire Bible is about Jesus Christ and his life-saving message. Some believed and others did not. After arguing among themselves they left. They were dull of hearing the Word of God (Acts 28:25-28). Paul reaffirmed his mission to preach the gospel to gentiles. During the two years of waiting for the trial, Paul continued to preach Christ without hindrance (Acts 28:31). God’s purpose will always prevail in the end.
Luke ends the book of Acts with an unfinished mission. He preached the gospel without hindrance to all who will hear it. Paul intended to travel beyond Rome even to Spain (Romans 15:24). His entire life revolved around the grace of God and the gospel. The message of salvation has begun to reach the end of the earth. Jesus is building his church and he is inviting our participation in spreading his message of forgiveness to all people. Paul's epistles written from Rome reveal his burden for the churches (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). The resurrection of Jesus is the main subject of the entire book of Acts. Its message is salvation through Jesus Christ. The message of the gospel began to reach the end of the earth and that mission continues. Let us not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is building his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This gives us confidence to continue in our mission to reach the lost world with the gospel until Christ returns. Tradition says that Paul's martyrdom happened in A.D 68 in Rome. Pray that nothing would stop us from sharing the life-giving message of the gospel to the lost and dying world. Hallelujah!