Passage: Acts 28
RECAP: The ship carrying Paul, Luke and their friends wrecked and, by God's grace, they ended up on an island of friendly Barbarians (literally... anybody who spoke a different language than Greek was called a barbarian because it sounded like "bar bar bar bar...").
v1-10 - Even though God did not spare him from having been wrecked at sea, God's presence in Paul's life is evident as he survives the viper bite and goes on to heal the sick people in Malta.
v11-16 - After some more travel, the group finally arrives in Rome, where they are met by a group of brothers. Notice how encouraging this is to Paul in v16. Even the great Apostle Paul needed to be surrounded by other believers!
v17-22 - Paul sticks to his regular game plan, and the first contact he makes in this new city is the Jews. Surprisingly, they've never heard of Paul, although they have heard of Paul's 'sect' and they're curious about it.
v23-31 - The book of Acts ends somewhat unceremoniously with the Jews once again rejecting the gospel, and Paul indicating he will bring the good news to the Gentiles instead (v28). Even though Paul is technically a prisoner, he lives with a great deal of freedom, and even more importantly, he's able to proclaim the Kingdom of God "with all boldness and without hindrance (v31)."
THEN WHAT? Luke mentions that this went on for two years, but then he just ends the account. Although it would be fascinating to know exactly what happened to Paul, Luke's odd ending here reminds us the story is not about Paul. It's about the Gospel, and by this point it's spreading like wildfire - with all boldness and without hindrance, even up to this day. In a real sense then, the book of Acts has never ended, and we are still living out what the Apostle's began.
Old Testament Reference -
Paul quotes a few verses from Isaiah 6, which is well known as one of the trisagion (literally means: three-holy) passages. It describes God calling Isaiah to prophecy to a culture of false religion that would be wiped out, leaving only a stump that would re-grow into the Church.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize: a gift certificate to Seed & Stem 12:27
Imagine being one of the Romans Christians who came out to meet Paul in v15. They would have likely said to Paul, "How was your trip?" How do you think Paul would have answered them?
What would you describe as being the 'key verse' of the book of Acts? Here's a few suggestions (though there are certainly others!): 1:8, 2:42–43, 4:32–33, 12:24, 20:32 or 28:31?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is the great King whose Kingdom will expand over every square inch of this world
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God's grace will make you understanding & perceiving of His gospel and that through it you would continually turn to Him (v26-27).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: