· Paul and the others on the ship ended up on the island of Malta
· The islanders were kind and showed great hospitality
· As it was still raining and cold they built a fire.
· Paul was helping by gathering wood
· One of the venomous vipers on the island bit Paul
· The islanders observed this and felt that Paul was being punished because even though he escaped drowning at sea he would be killed by the viper bite
· However, Paul showed no symptoms and the islanders began to believe he was a god
· The chief official on the island welcomed all the shipwrecked folks into his home and also showed great hospitality for three days
· In his home his father was sick but Paul went in and laid hands on him and he was healed
· Word spread quickly an d all the sick on the island came and Paul healed them as well
· The islanders were so thankful they gathered all the supplies they needed to complete their journey
· After three months as the storm season passed they were able to leave on a new ship
· They then sailed to Rome and in one place on the way stayed with some Christians for a week
· When they got to Rome there were some Christians waiting for them, some had traveled a great distance.
· Paul thank God for getting him there and was encouraged
· Paul had gained such favor that they allowed him to stay in a private home with a guard rather than in jail
· After settling in for three days Paul called together the leaders of the Jews in Rome
· Paul claimed that he had been wrongly arrested and done nothing against the customs or practices of the Jews
· That he was declared innocent of any crime worthy of death but was sent to Caesar because he was a Roman citizen
· They replied that they hadn’t heard anything about what happened in Jerusalem, but they had heard of the sect (the followers of the Nazarene) and they wanted to hear more
· They settled on meeting a different day where many more came to hear
· Paul used Moses and the prophets (the entire Old Testament) to show that it spoke of Jesus and what he would do.
· Some were convinced but many others did not believe
· There was some debate between each other
· Finally Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9&10 which speaks of the Jewish hardness of heart and that God’s message of salvation would go to the Gentiles who would believe
· At this remark they stopped coming to listen and debate (except those who believed)
· For two years Paul stayed in that rented house and taught all who came to him
· And from that home he boldly shared the gospel, the kingdom of God, and all about Jesus the Christ who is Lord
· (This is the end of Luke’s letter which never tells us what happened to Paul after this)
· When God has called us to do something, as long as we are faithful to follow, nothing can thwart His plans
· The miracles of God are available to those who don’t believe, if the Holy Spirit empowers someone who does believe
· Like Paul, we must share Jesus with whoever and whenever the Lord gives us a chance to
· If we can go to people to share we should, but if we can’t God can bring them to us if we are willing.
You called your church to be One, Set Apart, and Loving. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name through out the nations: Awaken in us such a love for you and your world that we may boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord; to the glory of your Name.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Posted on Fri, March 13, 2015
by Joel King