Acts 28

1When we were safe on land, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2It was raining and very cold. But the people that lived there were very good to us. They made a fire for us and welcomed all of us. 3Paul gathered a pile of sticks for the fire. Paul was putting the sticks on the fire. A poisonous snake came out because of the heat and bit Paul on the hand. 4The people living on the island saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand. They said, “This man must be a murderer! He did not die in the sea, but Justice does not want him to live.” 5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire. Paul was not hurt. 6The people thought that Paul would swell up or fall down dead. The people waited and watched Paul for a long time, but nothing bad happened to him. So the people changed their opinion of Paul. They said, “He is a god!” 7There were some fields around that same area. A very important man on the island owned these fields. His name was Publius. He welcomed us into his home. Publius was very good to us. We stayed in his house for three days. 8Publius’ father was very sick. He had a fever and dysentery. But Paul went to him and prayed for him. Paul put his hands on the man and healed him. 9After this happened, all the other sick people on the island came to Paul. Paul healed them too. 10- 11The people on the island gave us many honors. We stayed there three months. When we were ready to leave, the people gave us the things we needed. We got on a ship from the city of Alexandria. The ship had stayed on the island of Malta during the winter. On the front of the ship was the sign for the twin gods. 12We stopped at the city of Syracuse. We stayed in Syracuse three days and then left. 13We came to the city of Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the southwest, so we were able to leave. A day later we came to the city of Puteoli. 14We found some brothers ˻(believers)˼ there. They asked us to stay with them a week. Finally, we came to Rome. 15The believers in Rome heard that we were there. They came out to meet us at the Market of Appius and at the Three Inns. When Paul saw these believers, he felt better. Paul thanked God. 16Then we went to Rome. In Rome Paul was allowed to live alone. But a soldier stayed with Paul to guard him. 17Three days later Paul sent for some of the most important Jews. When they came together, Paul said, “My Jewish brothers, I have done nothing against our people (the Jews). I have done nothing against the customs of our fathers. But I was arrested in Jerusalem and given to the Romans. 18The Romans asked me many questions. But they could not find any reason why I should be killed. So they wanted to let me go free. 19But the Jews there did not want that. So I had to ask ˻to come to Rome˼ to have my trial before Caesar. But I am not saying that my people ˻(the Jews)˼ have done anything wrong. 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.” 21The Jews answered Paul, “We have received no letters from Judea about you. None of our Jewish brothers who have traveled from there ˻(Judea)˼ brought news about you or told us anything bad about you. 22We want to hear your ideas. We know that people everywhere are speaking against this group ˻(Christians)˼.” 23Paul and the Jews chose a day for a meeting. On that day many more of these Jews met with Paul at his house. Paul spoke to them all day long. Paul explained the kingdom of God to them. Paul tried to persuade them to believe the things about Jesus. He used the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to do this. 24Some of the Jews believed the things Paul said, but others did not believe. 25They had an argument. The Jews were ready to leave, but Paul said one more thing to them: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet. He said, 26'Go to this people ˻(the Jews)˼ and tell them: You will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand! You will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see! 27Yes, the minds of these people ˻(the Jews)˼ are now closed. They have ears, but they don’t listen. And they refuse to see ˻the truth˼. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they might understand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed.” 28”I want you Jews to know that God has sent his salvation to the non-Jewish people. They will listen!” 30Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house. He welcomed all people that came and visited him. 31Paul told people about the kingdom of God. He taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was very bold ˻(brave)˼, and no one tried to stop him from speaking.

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