7 Now 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. 8 It 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. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10 They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.

11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead.

Acts 28:7–11 ESV Read More

After being presumed guilty because he was bit by a snake after surviving a shipwreck, Paul is presumed to be a god because he survives the snake bite.

Ancient hospitality was a rich and necessary virtue. Without convenience stores and hospitals, travelers often depended on hospitality in foreign places for survival. By showing hospitality, a benefactor could network and build quite an honorable reputation for themselves.

Publix’s may have hosted the entire group of 276, or maybe just Paul’s party. Historians argue both sides. Either way, after three days they were close enough to him to learn about his sick father.

Again, just like on the boat, we know that people can’t spend a long time around Paul without hearing his Gospel. If somebody is healed, we know he had even more chance to preach that Gospel.

Once Publius’ father is healed, word spreads fast and all of the people that had the snake story now also have a healing story. Paul wouldn’t settle for them thinking he was a god, but we know that he would dispense God’s mercy on them with a bunch of healings.

They were there for three months before it was time to leave on another wheat freighter. Paul didn’t boycott the ship because it had the twin gods of Gemini on the boat. He also didn’t let any PTSD to keep him on Malta.

Can you imagine what that 3 months was like? For 2 weeks his only hope for survival was his conviction that what Jesus (via an angel) had told him was true. “You will testify in Rome.”

Two weeks of hopeless hell at sea and then three months of miracles and hospitality on Malta. (After you read and pray over this for a bit, check out visitmalta.com. Yeah. 3 months there after a sea disaster. Does God care for us or what?!)

The Lord uses every single thing that happens to us for the good of His glory and for the advancement of His Kingdom. Sometimes it obvious, sometimes it isn’t. The no-longer-blind and no-longer-sick and used-to-be-broken people of Malta wave on the shore as Paul sails for Rome. It’s a sunny day in the Spring and circumstances are pointing to the fact that God is faithful.

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