Just as God promised, all two hundred seventy-six persons aboard the doomed ship are saved! The natives are friendly, and help the soggy sailors build a fire on the beach, as it is cold and rainy. They let Paul’s party know that the island is called Malta!
Luke records that the natives are UNUSUALLY friendly. I wonder why? Perhaps some of the foodstuffs and boat gear has been washing up on the beach during Euroclydon and they are in a happy mood. They may think their gods are favoring them with more surprises from the sea for their entertainment … or exploitation.
No sooner does Paul gather wood for the fire than he is bitten by a viper, which scares the locals. Paul just shakes the snake into the fire, and the Maltese immediately expect Paul to succumb to the venomous attack. They suspect the prisoner Paul of being a murderer or something. He must be deserving of such horrid judgement. But Paul is not harmed.
So now he must be a god!
This is so true of humans even today. Idol worship still makes no common sense.
Anyway, the mayor of the area, a man named Plubius, courteously invites the shipwrecked crew into his home for three days. Plubius’s father is sick with fever and dysentery, so Paul prays and lays hands on the man. The man is healed, and the good news spreads across Malta. If there are any lingering suspicions of the foreigners in their midst, all doubt is now erased. Is this further proof that Paul is indeed a visiting god? Here come the island’s sick and diseased. Their sicknesses are healed, too.
Of course, Paul does not allow the Maltese to worship him as a god. He ministers to the entire island about Jesus and many become believers.
Why do I believe that there were many saved at Malta because of the witness of Paul?
Because that is what Apostles are instructed to do by the Master, Jesus (Yeshua). And throughout the Book of Acts Prayer for the sick and Laying on of Hands leads to Healing and that leads to Belief in Jesus and Salvation in Him – it’s a heavenly formula!
12And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people … 13Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. ~ (Peter) in Acts 5:12-15 NKJV
God even uses resurrection of the dead to reach people for salvation in Jesus. Take the instance of Jesus raising Lazarus; or the Apostle Peter at Joppa:
Tabitha (Dorcas), who was a Christian disciple, took sick and died. Other disciples knew that Peter was staying at Lydda, which was not far from Joppa. Two men went to Peter and asked him to help.
39Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. ~ Acts 9:39-42 NKJV
There are many other scriptural examples of what I think happened on Malta. Enjoy your Bible study and research! God makes sure that His Gospel is going out to every people, nation and tribe. Paul is an obedient servant of Our Lord. He knows that his destiny is Rome and time is short …
I want to talk about today. The Gospel message is still going out and it is as strongly received by lost people as it was in the day of the apostles. People all over the world are still lost in sin. They still worship idols, are sick and tormented by devils. They still need hope and salvation. The same formula still works: Pray for the sick, Lay on hands, let people experience the raw Power of the Holy Spirit Heal folks, Cast out demons, or Raise the dead. The darkness of Africa is being lifted in this same way and Belief in Christ is working over the whole continent. HALLELUHAH!!!
“Praise and thank you Jesus, for lighting that fire in Africa and across the world! Amen! Amen!!”
In the meantime, Julius finds another Alexandrian ship that has wintered over on Malta, whose figurehead is the twins, Castor and Pollux. In three months it will bear them to Rome. Until then they must suffer the honor and island entertainment of Malta. What a nice break after all they had just survived!
Stay tuned if you are feeling the spark of the Holy Spirit and where it is taking us on this Voyage to Rome. There are plenty of twists and turns to this story left to be told. God bless and thank you for following