- to communicate the main events that happened when Paul journeyed from Malta to Rome
- to verbalize that God’s word cannot be stopped despite the efforts of those who hate Christians
- to verbalize that God always keeps His promises
Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta and then traveled north to Rome.
Paul has been shipwrecked, but he knows he will make it to Rome. Paul has no doubts.
Main Events of Acts 28:
The people on the island of Malta were kind to the shipwrecked people. It was cold and rainy, but the natives built a fire and Paul helped. While picking up sticks for the fire, a viper bit Paul on the hand. Paul threw the viper in the fire. The natives, being superstitious, watched Paul very carefully because they knew he must be a murderer and receiving his punishment! A man would swell up and die after being bit by that viper! They watched Paul…they watched Paul…they watched Paul…and he didn’t die. At this point, the natives changed their opinion and declared Paul to be a god. Scripture doesn’t tell us what Paul told the natives, but I’m sure it had to be similar to what he told the people when they claimed him and Barnabas to be gods.
Paul, and his travelers, stayed with a man named Publius for 3 days. While with him, Paul healed his father. Once people heard the news, then everyone on the island who was sick came to see Paul for healing. After 3 months, the shipwrecked men boarded a ship and set sail. When Paul got to the Market of Appius, some Christians from Rome met him there and encouraged him. Paul then traveled north on the Appian Way towards Rome. While Paul was imprisoned, he was allowed to rent his own house and he had 1 guard watching over him. During this time of imprisonment Paul wrote the letters of Philemon, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians.
Just like every other town, Paul goes to the Jewish people first. Only this time, they had to come to him. Paul called all of the Jewish leadership to his home and he explained the prophets, Jesus, the scripture prophecies and fulfillments. Some were persuaded, but others were not. So Paul stated once again that he would preach to the Gentiles because of the unbelief of the Jews.
Paul was imprisoned for 2 years. During those 2 years he preached and taught anyone who came to him. Once released, scripture is pretty much silent as to what happened to Paul. Some scholars think Paul might have journeyed to Spain because of some of his comments in his letters. At some point he was imprisoned again. Nero was the Caesar at this time and persecution of Christians became the norm. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs says that Paul was beheaded outside the city, but there does not seem to be any documentation of his death. And the gospel spread and expanded throughout the world.
Life Application of Acts 28:
God’s word is alive and active. Man has his own thoughts about how he can control a Holy God. But man cannot erase the God who created him. It doesn’t matter if Christians are persecuted, if Jews are annihilated, if Bibles are burned, if prayer is taken out of schools, if government leaders do not know who God is…it doesn’t matter. Because God is sovereign and man cannot change that fact.
God WILL do what He has planned to do.
God WILL keep His promises.
Jesus WILL return again.
And if we believe this, how now should we live?