GOSPEL MEDITATION # 68
Paul on Malta, Paul Arrives in Rome, Paul in Rome
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- All on board the Alexandrian grain ship are saved. The majority of early New Testament manuscripts say there were 276 persons on board while Codes Vaticanus and a key Coptic mss have 76. I go with the 76.
- Paul is bitten by a viper and survives, thus changing the locals idea that instead of a criminal getting his just deserts he is a god. (Mark 16:18, most certainly not the original ending of Mark’s Gospel, may have been inspired by Acts 28:5)
- Along the way, Paul is treated with kindness by Julius, and is able to have fellowship with Christians at ports the ship visits. This demonstrates that Christianity has spread widely throughout the Mediterranean eastern to mid region.
- Publius, a local land baron, receives Paul, who later lays hand on Publius’ father who is healed. The miracle greatly magnifies Paul ministry.
- Paul arrives in Rome where Paul is allowed to stay by himself, but guarded by, probably lightly chained to, a Roman soldier.
- In Rome, Paul’s accusers do not show up, but Paul remains in custody. Local Jewish leaders do not accuse him either but state that the “sect” is “spoken against.” Paul is able to present the gospel to the Jews in Rome and expresses again that he is sent to the Gentiles.
- Paul is there for 2 years until AD 65 when Nero turns against the Christians. Paul is likely released then.