Three months on the island of Malta and Julius must be anxious to get going. During this time does he becomes a believer? We know he cares for Paul, but Luke does not reveal Julius’s heart for Jesus. We do know that the centurion makes sure this voyage resumes.
When everyone who was sick was healed, Luke says, “this was done.” That tiny phrase packs a wallop with me. Besides rest, healing, and many new converts (I believe), what else was done? Throughout the journey from Jerusalem; the Euroclydon and shipwreck on Malta; I somehow sense that the Lord is slowing down Paul’s arrival at Rome. Despite the storm and shipwreck, castaways, snakebite, and massive healings on Malta; this is a very productive trip so far. We know the heart of Paul is to hurry to the new congregation in Rome, but Paul takes advantage of the many opportunities to preach¹. Does Paul write any letters to any churches during this time? I can’t find evidence, but possibly he did and they were destroyed during times of church persecutions.
God never does anything without a reason. Besides all His miracles and Paul’s preaching, what is going on over at Rome? What was done to prepare the way for Paul to stay there a few years while his legal case slowly grinds through the Roman court system? Our Lord works supernaturally behind the scenes while humans deal with daily routines of life. While three months of winter storms blow themselves out across the Mediterranean Sea, God is preparing a house for Paul, and the hearts of spiritual newborns at the church in Rome. No doubt God is already working out the legal case pending against Paul, too. And not any small thing, the Holy Spirit has been changing the hearts of the Maltese toward Paul and the rest of the sailing group. You gotta know that new relationships have been formed during the past three months – both spiritual and carnal. Think of the tears as new friendships are feeling the sadness of parting … I just smile thinking that God uses these sort of events to work his love and tenderness in the hearts of people.
As Julius gets the ship ready to go, here come the natives with gifts of every sort to sustain them on their voyage to Rome. It is a huge send-off and probably takes two or three days to stow all the cargo plus secure the prisoners aboard. Big feasts and tearful goodbyes may end up with friends launching canoes in order to follow the ship out a little way; maybe some cast flowers onto the surface of the sea.
They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary. ~ Acts 28:10 NKJV
Finally, the voyage to Rome resumes! Click on the ship to link to an interactive map of Paul’s journey ↓
“Thank you, Lord, for helping us to get done what is Your will during our life’s journey. May it be pleasing to You, in the Matchless Name Above All Names, Jesus (Yeshua). Amen.”
PC: Ancient Greek Ship ©CanStock Photo/Diomedes66
¹O’Neal, Sam. (2018, December 7). Earliest Days of the Roman Christian Church. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-early-church-at-rome-363409