Author: Ron Graham
This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 28:1-31. These verses describe Paul’s stay on Malta, the journey from Malta to Rome, and a little of his work in Rome.
¶ "After everyone had got to shore, we found out that the island was called Melita. The natives treated us with great kindness. It was raining and cold, so they kindled a fire, and welcomed us all. Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire. A venomous snake came out, disturbed by the heat, and fastened on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging on his hand, they said among themselves, “No doubt this man is a murderer; he has escaped the sea; yet Justice won't let him live.” However Paul shook off the snake into the fire, and suffered no harm. The natives expected Paul to swell up or drop dead, but after they had observed him for a long time, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god." (Acts 28:1-6).
¶ "The governor of the island had his property in that area. His name was Publius. He welcomed us courteously, and gave us lodging for three days. The father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. Paul went into him; prayed; laid hands on him; and healed him. After this was done, other sick people of the island came, and were healed. They honoured us in many ways; and later, when we departed, they loaded us up with everything we needed." (Acts 28:7-10).
¶ "It was three months later that we set sail in a ship of Alexandria. It had wintered in the isle. The Twin sons of Zeus, Castor and Pollux, were its figurehead. We landed at Syracuse, and waited there three days. From there we tacked to Rhegium. A day later the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli. There we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them. We did so for seven days and then set off toward Rome. The brethren from Rome heard that we were coming. They came as far as Appii Forum and The three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and was encouraged. Upon our arrival in Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. However Paul was permitted to have his own house with a soldier guarding him." (Acts 28:11-16).
¶ "Three days later, Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. When they had assembled, Paul said to them, “Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or the customs of our forefathers, yet I was taken prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When the Romans examined me, they would have released me, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal Caesar —not that I have any accusation against my nation. So I have called for you, to meet and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” Paul’s visitors replied, “We received no letters from Judaea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren from there spoken ill of you. However we want to hear your views, because we know that this sect is spoken against everywhere.” " (Acts 28:17-22).
¶ "Paul’s Jewish visitors made an appointment with him for another day, when many came to him at his lodgings. Paul explained and testified about the kingdom of God, persuading them about Jesus, from the law of Moses, and from the prophets. Paul spoke from morning till evening. Some believed what Paul said; others were not persuaded." (Acts 28:23-24).
¶ "Disagreeing among themselves, the Jewish company began leaving after Paul made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke to our forefathers through the prophet Isaiah, 'Go to this people, and say, you shall keep hearing but not understand; you will keep seeing and not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, their ears can hardly hear, and they have shut their eyes; lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, be converted, and I should heal them.' So let it be known to you that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it.” When Paul had said these words, the Jews departed, still disputing among themselves." (Acts 28:25-28, Isaiah 6:9-10).
¶ "In Rome, Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all who came in to visit him. Paul was preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ. He was doing this quite openly and without hindrance. " (Acts 28:30-31).
Luke concludes his description of the spread of Christianity by leaving us with Paul working in Rome. Of course Christianity spread much further afield, “even to the remotest parts of the earth” as Jesus said (Acts 1:8). Luke, however, stops his narative here, and we can only wish that he had told us more.