After surviving stormy seas, shipwreck, and a poisonous snakebite, Paul enjoyed the unusual kindness and hospitality of the islanders of Malta. Rather than becoming discouraged by this detour, Paul seized the opportunity to share his faith with the generous yet superstitious people on the island. Alistair Begg points out, however, that even unusually kind people, like the Maltese, can still be lost and in need of a Savior.
1After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2The native people1 showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3When 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. 4When 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, Justice2 has not allowed him to live.” 5He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6They 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.
7Now 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. 8It 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. 9And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10They also honored us greatly,3 and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.
11After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods4 as a figurehead. 12Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14There we found brothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.
Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.