4/20/17 Safely Ashore

When each of the two hundred seventy-six men reaches the shore safely, they begin to explore the island.  It is cold and raining, and exploring is the last thing anyone wants to do, but they have to find shelter, food, and some way to get warm.  They stumble upon a village, and the centurion speaks to the villagers about their situation.  To everyone’s great relief, the villagers are very welcoming, providing everything the weary travelers are in need of.  They discover that the island is called Malta, and that it lies just off the coast of the larger island of Sicily.  They are closer to their destination than they thought.  Paul helps to gather firewood, laying a bundle of sticks on the fire, and a poisonous snake slithers out of the bundle, biting Paul’s hand.  The Maltans, seeing this, believe that Paul must be a murderer, fated to die because of the evil in his heart.  They watch him closely, waiting for the swelling that will precede his death.  But when Paul simply shakes off the snake and is completely unharmed, their eyes widen in surprise.  “He must be a god!” they exclaim.  “It’s as if the snake never even bit him!”

 

Acts 28:1-6

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