Week of July 29 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Acts 28:1-9

After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3 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. 4 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.” 5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. 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. 7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.

Reflect: How did the manner in which Paul healed Publius’ father demonstrate the source of Paul’s power (v. 8)?  How did the people of Malta respond to witnessing this healing (v. 9)? How might this have provided Paul opportunities to share the gospel?

Consider: Melita, which means “honey,” is the island of Malta. It was even then a prominent place for navigation where many vessels wintered. Luke calls the inhabitants Barbarians, a term used by the Greeks for all peoples who did not speak their language. The wrecked company was not plundered by the people of the island, but instead received much kindness and were made comfortable in the cold rain which fell.[1]

Respond: How do you see God’s hand guiding Paul in these verses? How have you experienced God’s hand of guidance in your own life through challenging times? How can you use this as a part of your testimony?

 

[1]  Arno C. Gaebelein, The Acts of the Apostles: An Exposition (New York: “Our Hope” Publication Office, 1912), 421.