A Shipwreck Gets Turned Into an Opportunity to Teach the People

Pastor Paul J Bern
7 min readOct 20

Ashore on Malta Healing Many, and Onward to Rome

Taking Care of Business as Only the Apostle Paul Could

(Acts chapter 28, verses 1–16)

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Paul on the shores of Malta

Last week as we concluded our study of Acts 27, we finished off part 3 with the shipwreck described in vivid detail by the apostle Luke. After being blown around by a major storm that lasted 2 full weeks — due to the sailing ship’s lack of mechanical propulsion — the pilot and his crew managed to beach what was left of the ship on the eastern shores of Malta. Malta is situated in the east-central part of the Mediterranean sea, with Sicily to the north, Algeria to the west, Libya to the south, and the island of Crete far off to the east by roughly 1,000 miles or so. So the island of Malta isn’t near much of anything. So much so that the culture there seemed a bit backward and superstitious to Paul, and the other men with him couldn’t help but notice it. With that in mind, let’s plunge right in to the refreshing waters of the apostle Luke’s written testimony, starting at verse 1.

Part One of This Week’s Verses for Study and Memorization

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, the goddess 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.” (Acts 28, verses 1–6)

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Pastor Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium, Wordpress and others. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor, coach