28 • 1 After being saved, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The natives were very cordial. They lit a big bonfire and took good care of us all, since it was raining and cold.
3 Paul gathered a bundle of dried twigs and as he threw them into the fire, a viper suddenly came out because of the heat and entwined itself around his hand. 4 When the natives saw the viper hanging from his hand, they said to one another: “Surely this man is a murderer: he has barely escaped from the raging sea, yet divine justice will not allow him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the viper into the fire and did not suffer any harm. They waited to see him swell and die; 6 but after observing him for a while they saw that nothing happened to him, so they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.
7 Near this place was an estate owned by the head of the island, named Publius. For three days this man welcomed us hospitably. 8 It so happened that his father was in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul went to see him; he prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 Because of this, the rest of the sick people on the island came to see him and were cured. 10 So they showered us with kindness, and on our departure they provided us with everything we needed.
From Malta to Rome
• 11 After three months, we boarded a ship that had spent the winter at the island. It belonged to an Alexandrian company and carried the figurehead of Castor and Pollux as insignia. 12 We sailed for Syracuse, staying there for three days 13 and, after circling the coast, we arrived at Rhegium. On the following day, a south wind began to blow, and at the end of two days we arrived at Puteoli, 14 where we found some of our brothers who invited us to stay with them for a week. And that was how we came to Rome.
15 There the brothers and sisters had been informed of our arrival and came out to meet us as far as the Appian Forum and the Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he gave thanks to God and took courage. 16 Upon our arrival in Rome, the captain turned the prisoners over to the military governor but permitted Paul to lodge in a private house with the soldier who guarded him.
Paul meets the Jews in Rome
• 17 After three days, Paul called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered, he said to them: “Brothers, though I have not done anything against our people or against the traditions of our fathers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to set me free, for they saw nothing in my case that deserved death. 19 But the Jews objected, so I was forced to appeal to Caesar without the least intention of bringing any case against my own people. 20 Therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I bear these chains.”
21 They answered: “We have not received any letter about you from Judea, and none of the brothers who have come from there have brought any message or said anything against you. 22 But we wish to hear from you what you think, although we know already that everywhere people speak against this sect that you belong to.”
23 They set a day for him and came in great numbers to his lodging. So Paul explained everything he wanted to tell them regarding the kingdom of God and tried to convince them concerning Jesus, taking the Law of Moses and the Prophets as his starting point. This continued from morning till night. 24 Some were convinced by his words, others were not. 25 Finally the Jews left, still arguing strongly among themselves; and Paul sent them away with this statement:“What the Holy Spirit said has come true, when he spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:
26 Go to this people and say to them: However much you hear, you will not understand; you will see and see again but not perceive.
27 The heart of this people has grown hard; they have covered their ears and closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest their spirit understand, and I should heal them.
28 Let it be known to you, then, that this salvation of God has been sent to the pagans: they will listen.”
30 Paul stayed for two whole years in a house he himself rented, where he received without any hindrance all those who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the truth about Jesus Christ, the Lord, quite openly and without any hindrance.
No comments yet.