Read. Acts 28:1-10
After reaching land safely, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us extraordinary kindness. Because it was rainy and cold, they built a fire and welcomed all of us. 3 Paul gathered a bunch of dry sticks and put them on the fire. As he did, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, latched on to his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He was rescued from the sea, but the goddess Justice hasn’t let him live!” 5 Paul shook the snake into the fire and suffered no harm.6 They expected him to swell up with fever or suddenly drop dead. After waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to claim that he was a god.
7 Publius, the island’s most prominent person, owned a large estate in that area. He welcomed us warmly into his home as his guests for three days. 8 Publius’ father was bedridden, sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went to see him and prayed. He placed his hand on him and healed him. 9 Once this happened, the rest of the sick on the island came to him and were healed. 10 They honored us in many ways. When we were getting ready to sail again, they supplied us with what we needed.
Reflect. When the travelers crash into the shore of Malta they are looking for a place to stay for the winter, and the people of Malta show them “extraordinary kindness.” In many places, Paul has been show kindness by nonChristians. Many times it has been the Romans who have saved Paul’s life, and now he and the others are experiencing kindness from other pagans. What do you see as the significance of this? Why would Luke (the author of Acts) paint nonChristians in such a favorable light?
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