8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.
I encourage you to read the entire chapters of Acts 27 and 28 – which I’ve copied and pasted below. I read this in my Bible recently, and I keep thinking about it.
This scripture really resonates with me because, well, I guess I keep thinking of the imagery involved. The Apostle Paul, a prisoner, was shipwrecked on the island of Malta with the rest of the crew and prisoners. I keep thinking of the vivid imagery of Malta. I know the winds and the storm were treacherous, but, I’m sure that after everything cleared up, Malta was quite beautiful to the shipwrecked – especially after struggling through that terrible storm.
I also think about what it must’ve looked like for Paul to build a fire and then a poisonous snake to pop out of the fire onto his hand, and he wasn’t harmed or anything. But, what’s kinda weird is, the Maltans thought that Paul was a god since he remained unharmed after being attacked by the poisonous snake. I suppose they thought like this since they were not yet aware of the Gospel.
However, what I find truly amazing is when Paul healed all on the entire island through his faith in Jesus. Isn’t that wonderfully amazing? If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know how I’m kinda fixated on the miraculous healings in the Bible. I wish there were movie cameras back then so that it could be caught on film for me to watch. I’m sure it would’ve been an amazing sight to see.
When you read this scripture, what comes to your mind? How would you have reacted if that poisonous snake had attached himself to your hand? I’d have been screaming, scared, my heart would’ve been racing! I know we need to rely on God during those traumatic times, but, the first thing that would’ve popped into my mind was fear!
Shipwrecked on Malta
39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. 40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
Paul’s Ministry on Malta
1 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.