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Acts 28

1 When we were safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The people who lived on the island were unusually kind to us. They made a fire and welcomed all of us around it because of the rain and the cold. 3 Paul gathered a bundle of brushwood and put it on the fire. The heat forced a poisonous snake out of the brushwood. The snake bit Paul's hand and wouldn't let go. 4 When the people who lived on the island saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer! He may have escaped from the sea, but justice won't let him live." 5 Paul shook the snake into the fire and wasn't harmed. 6 The people were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they had waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7 A man named Publius, who was the governor of the island, had property around the area. He welcomed us and treated us kindly, and for three days we were his guests. 8 His father happened to be sick in bed. He was suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, prayed, placed his hands on him, and made him well. 9 After that had happened, other sick people on the island went to Paul and were made well. 10 They showed respect for us in many ways, and when we were going to set sail, they put whatever we needed on board.

11 After three months we sailed on an Alexandrian ship that had spent the winter at the island. The ship had the gods Castor and Pollux carved on its front. 12 We stopped at the city of Syracuse and stayed there for three days. 13 We sailed from Syracuse and arrived at the city of Rhegium. The next day a south wind began to blow, and two days later we arrived at the city of Puteoli. 14 In Puteoli we discovered some believers who begged us to spend a week with them. 15 Believers in Rome heard that we were coming, so they came as far as the cities of Appius' Market and Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and felt encouraged. So we finally arrived in the city of Rome.

16 After our arrival, Paul was allowed to live by himself, but he had a soldier who guarded him.

17 After three days Paul invited the most influential Jews in Rome to meet with him. When they assembled, he said to them, "Brothers, I haven't done anything against the Jewish people or violated the customs handed down by our ancestors. Yet, I'm a prisoner from Jerusalem, and I've been handed over to the Roman authorities. 18 The Roman authorities cross-examined me and wanted to let me go because I was accused of nothing for which I deserved to die. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal my case to the emperor. That doesn't mean I have any charges to bring against my own people. 20 That's why I asked to see you and speak with you. I'm wearing these chains because of what Israel hopes for." 21 The Jewish leaders told Paul, "We haven't received any letters from Judea about you, and no Jewish person who has come to Rome has reported or mentioned anything bad about you. 22 However, we would like to hear what you think. We know that everywhere people are talking against this sect."

23 On a designated day a larger number of influential Jews [than expected] went to the place where Paul was staying. From morning until evening, Paul was explaining the kingdom of God to them. He was trying to convince them about Jesus from Moses' Teachings and the Prophets. 24 Some of them were convinced by what he said, but others continued to disbelieve. 25 The Jews, unable to agree among themselves, left after Paul had quoted this particular passage to them: "How well the Holy Spirit spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah!

26 The Spirit said: 'Go to these people and say, "You will hear clearly but never understand. You will see clearly but never comprehend.

27 These people have become close-minded and hard of hearing. They have shut their eyes so that their eyes never see. Their ears never hear. Their minds never understand. And they never turn to me for healing."'

28 "You need to know that God has sent his salvation to people who are not Jews. They will listen." 29 

30 Paul rented a place to live for two full years and welcomed everyone who came to him. 31 He spread the message about God's kingdom and taught very boldly about the Lord Jesus Christ. No one stopped him.

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GOD'S WORD is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations (http://GodsWord.org). Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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