Acts 28: 1-10
28 When we were safe on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The people of the island were unusually kind. It was raining and cold. So they built a fire and welcomed all of us. 3 Paul gathered some sticks and put them on the fire. A poisonous snake was driven out by the heat. It fastened itself on Paul’s hand. 4 The people of the island saw the snake hanging from his hand. They said to each other, “This man must be a murderer. He escaped from the sea. But Justice won’t let him live.” Justice was the name of a goddess. 5 Paul shook the snake off into the fire. He was not harmed. 6 The people expected him to swell up. They thought he would suddenly fall dead. They waited for a long time. But they didn’t see anything unusual happen to him. So they changed their minds. They said he was a god. 7 Publius owned property nearby. He was the chief official on the island. He welcomed us to his home. For three days he took care of us. He treated us with kindness. 8 His father was sick in bed. The man suffered from fever and dysentery. So Paul went in to see him. Paul prayed for him. He placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 Then the rest of the sick people on the island came. They too were healed. 10 The people of the island honored us in many ways. When we were ready to sail, they gave us the supplies we needed.
Having shipwrecked on Malta the company of people from the ship are on the beach and a fire is made by the locals. A snake bites Paul and the locals believe he must have been a murderer as he has not escaped ‘justice’.
He doesn’t die so they change their view to him being a god. How fickle our views of people are at times. We believe one thing, then another based on little evidence and sometimes not even direct discussion.
This passage continues with a healing and then many healings and the locals giving all that is needed for the continuing journey.
I am reminded from this passage to ensure I keep an open mind until I have a good
amount of information about a person before I ‘conclude’ on their character, abilities and leadership.
Father, help me from making rash decisions and judgements.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta