This passage tells about Paul’s voyage to Rome. Like the other passages we’ve seen in Acts, this passage contains stories about how God miraculously protected Paul and his companions and it contains accounts of our spiritual heritage; how the gospel was spread, the good news which eventually came to us, today.
Paul was bitten by a viper as he was building a fire (maybe Paul was distracted thinking about the gospel) and miraculously, Paul lived.
Paul and his companions stayed three months on Malta and then sailed towards Rome. Some believers in Rome encouraged him. Paul has been called “the Apostle to the Gentiles,” as Jews and Gentiles in the book of Acts have come to believe in the Gospel. This is another kind of miracle, at first glance less dramatic, but as miraculous as being protected from a dangerous snake; the miracle of Christian community. Paul experienced it in this passage, and we experience it today as we pray for and support each other.
Last week we sat around a wooden table as a family, eating ice cream at and ice cream stand. It would be the last time in a while doing this together, as we were taking our daughter to college. It reminded me of Paul’s words about taking communion, and how, when we take communion we yearn to see Jesus again. Meals mean fellowship, and because of Christ’s death, we fellowship with other believers. We support and pray for each other. Not for nothing; not just for our own comfort, but so our lives will touch others.
This week, I have been encouraged by the kindness of other believers. Once again, as I read this passage, I am thankful for Paul. He said in Colossians 3 that everything in his life he counted a loss, compared to Christ. His energy and devotion and mostly his yearning for Christ and the kingdom, inspire me.