Acts Chapter 28

August 18, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 28 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 28:1-31 (NIV)
1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. 7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. 11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. 17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar–not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” 21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” 23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 29 30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 28:1-2

The place where that were shipwrecked was on a small island called Malta about 60 miles south of Sicily. That means that in the two weeks they were in that storm they had traveled 600 miles. The islanders, (barbarians in some translations simply means non-Greek speaking people), were extremely hospitable to the shipwrecked group, building them a fire and welcoming them.

Acts 28:3-6

As Paul is gathering wood for the fire, he was bitten by a snake and the islanders initially thought that Paul must be a murderer to have survived a shipwreck and then get bitten by a snake. But Paul just shakes off the snake and nothing happens, so then they think he must be a god. Luke does not record Paul’s response to this, but it was probably similar to his response in Lystra where the people there initially believed he was a god.

Acts 28:7-10

Publius took Paul and others (including Luke (us)) to his estate for three days. While he was there Paul prayed for Publius’ father, who was healed, and then prayer for all the sick on the island. The islanders took good care of the shipwrecked group for three months and then gave them supplies for the rest of their journey.

Acts 28:11

We know that they had initially left Crete after the Fast, which puts them into late October or early November, so now, witht the two weeks of storms and three months on Malta, it is February or March. They board a ship and continue their journey to Rome.

Acts 28:12-14

Luke is very specific in his account of the trip. Malta to Sicily to Rhegium (which is on the “toe” of Italy) to Puteoli, 152 miles south of Rome; and finally to Rome itself.

When they arrived in Puteoli they found some Christians, which is important because it shows that the gospel had already been spreading in Italy. Paul was able to spend a week with the Christians there.

Acts 28:15

The Christians who are in Rome hear that Paul had arrived in Rome and so they travel to meet with him. This was a great encouragement to Paul. Paul was finally in Rome and was welcomed by fellow believers.

Acts 28:16

Paul was allowed to rent himself a house while he awaited trial. There was a guard with him at all times however.

Acts 28:17-27

As he had all over the world, Paul presents the gospel to the Jewish community, and as had happened all over the world, a few believed, but by and large the message was rejected by the religious leaders.

Acts 28:28

The end of the book of Acts leaves the focus on presenting the gospel towards the gentiles, which is what it has been ever since.

Acts 28:29-31

Paul spends his two years in Rome in the rested house preaching to everyone who will listen. The last verse in Acts is great:

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

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