Earlier during Lent, I wrote on Acts 28:3 (March 4, Entangled with Vipers) which told the story of shipwrecked Paul and how he was bitten by a poisonous snake and lived. Today’s scripture follows that incident on Malta. Acts 28:7-10 “There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
This story shows the continued protection and providence of God towards Paul and his mission to go to Rome. God had told him he would go to Rome during the storm at sea that rendered them shipwrecked. “23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27:23-26. Paul knew he was to be about God’s work while on his way to Rome. The local official welcomed them and was very hospitable to these strangers and prisoners. When the father of the official became ill, Paul immediately went and laid hands upon him and healed him. This miraculous healing caused others to come to Paul and many others were healed. He had a God given opportunity to witness to the power of Christ in this unexpected place. He was well taken care of and soon set sail for Rome again.
What do we learn from this story? God is sovereign and in control of all circumstances. He allowed the storm and shipwreck to happen thus providing Paul time to show others the power of God though his actions and words. You can be sure that Paul spent time telling others about his Jesus. He knew that Jesus is the only one who has the power to save both spiritually and physically. God’s power is manifested through us so that others will see and hear about Him. Paul was obedient to tell others and heal the sick. What happened as a result was grace to Paul and his fellow prisoners and the good news of Christ being given there on Malta.
Our question today is, in what circumstances do you find yourself? Looking around, how do you see that God could use you to help others physically? Who can you tell about Jesus to give them spiritual food? Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can be used by God to reach out to others physically and spiritually. We need to keep our eyes and hearts open to His leading so we can be His hands of helping and healing to our weary world.