Paul on the Island of Malta 28 1When we were safe on land, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2The people who lived there were very good to us. Because it was raining and very cold, they made a fire and welcomed all of us. 3Paul gathered a pile of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a poisonous snake came out because of the heat and bit him on the hand. 4The people living on the island saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand and said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He did not die in the sea, but Justice[E] does not want him to live.” 5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and was not hurt. 6The people thought that Paul would swell up or fall down dead. They waited and watched him for a long time, but nothing bad happened to him. So they changed their minds and said, “He is a god!” 7There were some fields around there owned by Publius, an important man on the island. He welcomed us into his home and was very good to us for three days. 8Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery.[F] Paul went to him, prayed, and put his hands on the man and healed him. 9After this, all the other sick people on the island came to Paul, and he healed them, too. 101110-11The people on the island gave us many honors. When we were ready to leave, three months later, they gave us the things we needed. Paul Goes to Rome We got on a ship from Alexandria that had stayed on the island during the winter. On the front of the ship was the sign of the twin gods.[G] 12We stopped at Syracuse for three days. 13From there we sailed to Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the south, and a day later we came to Puteoli. 14We found some believers there who asked us to stay with them for a week. Finally, we came to Rome. 15The believers in Rome heard that we were there and came out as far as the Market of Appius[H] and the Three Inns[I] to meet us. When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God. Paul in Rome 16When we arrived at Rome, Paul was allowed to live alone, with the soldier who guarded him. 17Three days later Paul sent for the Jewish leaders there. When they came together, he said, “Brothers, I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. But I was arrested in Jerusalem and given to the Romans. 18After they asked me many questions, they could find no reason why I should be killed. They wanted to let me go free, 19but the Jewish people there argued against that. So I had to ask to come to Rome to have my trial before Caesar. But I have no charge to bring against my own people. 20That is why I wanted to see you and talk with you. I am bound with this chain because I believe in the hope of Israel.” 21They answered Paul, “We have received no letters from Judea about you. None of our Jewish brothers who have come from there brought news or told us anything bad about you. 22But we want to hear your ideas, because we know that people everywhere are speaking against this religious group.” 23Paul and the Jewish people chose a day for a meeting and on that day many more of the Jews met with Paul at the place he was staying. He spoke to them all day long. Using the law of Moses and the prophets’ writings, he explained the kingdom of God, and he tried to persuade them to believe these things about Jesus. 24Some believed what Paul said, but others did not. 25So they argued and began leaving after Paul said one more thing to them: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, saying, 26‘Go to this people and say: You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not learn, 27because these people have become stubborn. They don’t hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might really understand what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds and come back to me and be healed.’[J] 28“I want you to know that God has also sent his salvation to those who are not Jewish, and they will listen!” 29 [K] 30Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house and welcomed all people who came to visit him. 31He boldly preached about the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one tried to stop him.
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