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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Acts 28

 

 

Introduction

The Journey Ended In Rome
- Acts Twenty-Eight -

The people on the Island of Melita were very kind to those that were shipwrecked. They built a fire for them because of the rain and the cold. The conduct of these people condemns many that are even more able to help. The true Christian spirit is that of doing what you can with the opportunities you have.

As Paul gathered sticks for the fire a poisonous viper attached itself to his hand. The people thought that Paul must surely be a murderer. The people of Melita believed that the wicked are punished in this life. Paul was able to shake off the viper and feel no harm. The people of Melita then "changed their minds, and said that he was a god."

The chief man of the island was named Publius. Paul healed his father of a fever and a bloody flux. He prayed, laid his hands on him and healed him. He also healed others on the island. When they departed from the island the people gave them such things as they needed.

After three months they departed for Italy on a ship of Alexandria. When they reached "Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him." While in Rome Paul also met with the Jews to teach them about the hope of Israel -- the resurrection from the dead. "Some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not." Paul again explained that "salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles." The book of Acts closed with "Paul dwelling two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him."


Verses 1-10

Paul kindly received at Melita - Acts 28:1-10 : The 276 people all safely reached the shore on the island of (Melita) Malta. The local people received them and were friendly to them. They were willing to help them; they built a fire because of the rain and cold. Paul gathered some wood to put on the fire. He was not content to let someone else do for him what he could help do for himself.

As he gathered the wood a snake bit him on the hand. When the local people saw the snake hanging on Paul"s hand they said, "This man must be a murderer!" They felt that even though Paul had escaped the sea, vengeance would not allow him to live. Paul shook the snake in the fire and felt no harm. The people watched Paul expecting him to swell up or die. When nothing happened they said, "This man is a god."

The chief man of the Island welcomed Paul into his house. Publius" father was sick and Paul healed him of his disease. Many others brought sick people to Paul and by the power of God he healed them all. When Paul and the others sailed away the people were very kind to them and gave them everything they needed.


Verses 11-16

Paul finally reached Rome - Acts 28:11-16 : They were on the Island for three months. They departed for Italy on a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered there, whose sign was Castor and Pollux - "The Twin Gods." As they made the journey to Rome they met with other Christians at Puteoli. When they came toward Italy some Christians came "as far as Appii forum, and the three taverns" to meet Paul. When Paul saw this "he thanked God, and took courage." Let us do all that we can to encourage others.

When they reached Rome "Paul was allowed to live in a house by himself with a soldier to guard him." Apparently, by the permission of Julius, Paul was allowed this freedom. There was always a soldier that kept him. He may have even been chained to him. There was always someone present for Paul to teach!


Verses 17-22

Paul"s conference with the Jews - Acts 28:17-22 : Immediately after Paul reached Rome (three days), he called together some of the Jews. He explained that he had done nothing against the Jews or the customs of the Jews. Yet he was "delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans." Paul said that he was tried and found innocent. But because the Jews objected so much it became necessary for him to appeal to Caesar.

Paul had nothing against the Jewish nation. He said he was bound because of what Israel had hoped for. He wanted to talk to these Jews about the hope of Israel. These Jews had received no report against Paul from Jerusalem. They were willing to hear more about Christianity. They said, "We understand that people everywhere are against this sect."


Verses 23-31

Paul remained a prisoner at Rome - Acts 28:23-31 : Many Jews came to Paul"s house. He used the Law and the Prophets to talk to them about God"s kingdom (church). His goal was to "persuade them concerning Jesus." Our goal must also be to try to win people over to Jesus. "Some of the leaders agreed with what Paul said, but others did not." When some began to leave, Paul reminded them of words spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying, "Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." Sadly the Jews would not listen. But Paul said you can be sure that God wants to save the Gentiles and they will listen.

The book of Acts closed without giving us details about what finally happened to Paul. The closing words were, "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." Paul was allowed to live in quietness and safety. He received all hospitably and kindly. Some came to show him kindness, and others to listen to his teaching. Paul preached Christ and His kingdom openly and boldly. Paul wrote, "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel...many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." (Philippians 1:12-14) Thank God!

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Acts 28:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/acts-28.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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