(1-10) Paul on Malta
Even though there were soldiers, sailors, other prisoners, and natives on the island of Malta, it was Paul who gathered sticks to make a fire. He did not think he was above serving. Even after being unjustly imprisoned and surviving a storm, he looked out for the interests of others above his own. Paul’s faith in God was so strong, that he did not fear death at the hands of man or at the teeth of a viper. He was probably unconcerned about the viper fastening on his hand because he remembered that God had promised that he would bear witness of Him at Rome. He was not yet at Rome, so he knew that God would not let anything happen to him before His promise was fulfilled.
It was raining and cold and the natives of Malta were strangers to Paul and his companions, but Paul did not hesitate to do good among them. When he heard that Publius’ father was sick, he visited him, prayed with him, and healed him. Through the power of God, he also healed others who had diseases.
(17-31) Paul in Rome
For two years, Paul lived in Rome and bore witness of God just as God said he would. He preached salvation to Jews and Gentiles alike – some believed, others did not. He never let unbelief and disagreement shut him up though; he went on proclaiming the kingdom of God with boldness until his death. The Bible does not say, but historical tradition has it that Paul was tortured and then beheaded by Rome’s Emperor Nero in A.D. 67.
Favorite verse: (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.”