- Acts 28:6-10
- Acts 28:6 (KJB)
- Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead
suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to
him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
- The local people had seen others bitten by these vipers and saw them die
from the venom. Here they were waiting for Paul to suffer the same fate but
it did not happen. They did not know that God had told Paul that he was
going to testify for Him in Rome and therefore the snake venom did not
affect Paul. Now comes the superstition. When they saw that Paul was not
affected by the snake, they immediately thought that he was a god. The
people of Lystra did the same thing to him and Barnabas and he knew how a
crowd could go from cheering to jeering to violence in a matter of just a
few minutes. The people of Melita changed quickly too. They had Paul pegged
as a murderer and now they had him pegged as a god, from one extreme to
- Acts 28:7 (KJB)
- In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island,
whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days
- Close by was the living quarters for the chief man of the island name
Publius. It is said that he held his office under the Governor of Sicily and
as the chief Roman officer, he was responsible for the soldiers stationed on
the island. He was a very kind man and welcomed the people especially since
they were fellow Romans. He had entertained them for three days with much
thoughtfulness. The word “courteous” in the Greek can also be understood as
“in a friendly way.” Maybe Publius did not get much of a chance to entertain
anyone from Rome too often being an outpost.
- Acts 28:8 (KJB)
- And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and
of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his
hands on him, and healed him.
- Bloody Flux - Dysentery
- Dysentery causes sever diarrhea which also passes much blood and mucus.
Apparently the father of Publius had contracted this disease. This could
have killed him because severe diarrhea can dehydrate the body quickly and
cause death. No doubt Publius’ father was dying from this horrible disease.
Here was another opportunity for the Gospel to get a hearing and why God
allowed them to become shipwrecked on this island. It seems from the Greek
text that he had suffered from these headaches frequently. They may have
been reoccurring migraines along with the dysentery. When Paul heard about
this situation, he went to see his father and upon entering, he prayed first
and then he laid his hands on him and the man was healed of these diseases.
Paul was the instrument but God was the one who actually healed the man.
- Acts 28:9 (KJB)
- So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island,
came, and were healed:
- This is something that could not be hushed up, so when others heard
about it, they brought their sick and those who could walk came to Paul to
be healed. Although they could not communicate perfectly, Paul may have been
able to understand some of their dialect but Luke would have been unable to
understand any of it. The ministry of healing was closely tied to the Gospel
throughout the book of Acts. It portrays the before and after of a person
who becomes saved. Before a person is saved they are spiritually sick but
after they are saved, they are spiritually made alive. The diseases just
represented a person before salvation and healing represented a person after
salvation. Just like the blind man in John 9, he could not physically see.
Before a person is saved, they cannot see spiritual things but after they
are saved, their spiritual eyes are opened, going from spiritual blindness
to spiritual sight.
- Acts 28:10 (KJB)
- Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded
us with such things as were necessary.
- Paul no doubt had a good three months of ministry while he was on Melita.
He no doubt saw the divine healing of many and he probably was able to get a
church started because probably many became saved under his ministry. In
appreciation of all the things they did for them, the people of Melita had
honored them with many honors probably in the form of food, clothing, money
and any other necessities they needed to stay the winter and for the