After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed. (Acts 28:1-10)
Winter spent on Malta
Everyone was brought safely onto the land. In writing this Luke seems to be saying that it was God who saved them.
As for those three months on Malta, we read how the people helped them, and how Paul helped the Maltese people by praying for the sick; maybe Dr Luke also helped with the healing of illnesses.
We know that their stay on the island was not forgotten. Bro. Brian’s uncle lived on that same coast in a harbour town which is still called St. Paul’s Bay.
In the last two posts about the Acts of the Apostles we shall read how Paul reached and spent the next and perhaps the last two years of his life in Rome.