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The Book of ACTS
THEME: Paul goes to Rome
This is the last chapter in the Book of Acts. It follows Paul from Melita to Rome. When Paul arrives in Rome, he ministers first to Jews and then to Gentiles. The story is not concluded but breaks off with Paul preaching in Rome. The acts of the Holy Spirit have not been finished even in today's world. The Book of Acts will come to an end with the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-19).
Melita is the island that we know today as Malta. The bay where this took place is known today as Saint Paul's Bay. During World War II, this island made the headlines at the very beginning of the conflict. It was the most bombed spot of the war because it was in such a strategic position. At that time General Darby was the general and the governor of the island. He was a Christian and a worthy successor to the apostle Paul. He said that he would not surrender. Sort of interesting to be reading about Paul landing at this bay and to realize that General Darby had command on that same island at one time.
In the incident of this shipwreck and the landing of Paul on the island of Melita, we see God working in the life of the apostle Paul. All this is recorded for our learning, and for strengthening and increasing our faith in God (Luke 17:5; Mark 9:24).
The Landing On Melita (Acts 28:1-10)
Acts 28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. (KJV)
This was foretold by Paul (Acts 27:26). The sea men did not know the land (Acts 27:39), and had not been able to guide the ship (Acts 27:15), yet God so arranged it this way, so that not a word spoken by Paul would be wrong.
Melita is now called Malta, and is a small island between Sicily and Africa. There is another out of the way island in Illyricum that was called by this name, which some have mistaken for the place of Paul's shipwreck.
And when they were escaped . . . from the danger they were exposed to by shipwreck, and were safely on land.
Then they knew that the island was called Melita . . . an island toward the African shore, which is now called Malta. It is said that it is here pirates used to spend the winter. Some say there was a great abundance of honey found there; for it was a very pleasant and fruitful island, with much wheat, rye, flax, cumin, cotton, figs, wine, roses, thyme, lavender and many other sweet herbs, from whence bees did gather honey.
The compass of the island is about 60 miles, the length 20 and was 12 miles wide, and has in it 5 ports, and about 60 villages.
Acts 28:2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. (KJV)
The barbarous people . . . all other nations were so called by the Grecians and Romans that did not receive their customs, nor speak their language (1 Cor.14:11). And to this day the African coast over against this island is called Barbary.
Showed us no little kindness . . . Luke says in Acts 12:18 that there was "no small stir." When he says there was no small stir, he means there was a huge uproar. Also in Acts 15:2, when Judaism came into the church, Luke says they had "no small dissension." He meant they had a regular knock-down-drag-out fight! Also see: Acts 19:23-24; 27:20. So when Luke uses the 'negative' approach to . . . Showed us no little kindness . . . he means the people went overboard in being kind to the 276 'glad to be ashore' ship wrecked passengers. The islanders showed them extraordinary kindness.
For they kindled a fire . . . set fire to a large pile of wood. A large fire it had to be, to be to warm such a number of people 276 (Acts 27:37), in such a condition as they were. The islanders received us everyone . . . all 276.
Because of the present rain, and because of the cold . . . for it seems that a heavy rain fell on them, as is usual in a storm. So they all were soaked. The fire was very necessary; and it being winter or very near it, it was cold weather; and especially they having been so long in a storm, and now shipwrecked; and some having thrown themselves into the sea and swam to the island. The others that had put themselves on boards and planks to get ashore, and were no doubt both wet and cold as well. So nothing was more needed and more agreeable to them than a large fire.
Acts 28:3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. (KJV)
And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks . . . he had picked up some sticks, and put them in a bundle to carry to the fire. Paul was NOT afraid of work, as SO many in our society today. They would rather get food stamps! 2 Thes. 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (KJV) I personally think that is what is wrong with our "economy" today! The government paying perfectly healthy able-bodied people . . . lazy no-accounts . . . instead of telling them to get off their behinds and support themselves! YES! There are many people who most certainly should get some support from the government, BUT NOT healthy able-bodied people!
Everyone that day was busy trying to help out in this mess, trying to keep the fire going to dry and warm themselves.
There came a viper out of the heat . . . a venomous creature, being numbed by the cold, began to stir itself.
Fastened on his hand . . . as it did when it bit. The snake bit Paul. This miracle arranged by Almighty God, prepares these people not only to be civil and courteous to Paul, but also to believe the Gospel which he preached, where ever he went. This wonderful work of God was as God's seal to Paul's ministry, showing the authority to be from Him.
Acts 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. (KJV)
And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast . . . the viper is called "Therion." It is the most posionous of all serpents.
These pagans had a sense of justice. They assumed that Paul was a murderer and that he deserved punishment. This incident shows that throughout the Roman Empire there was a sense of justice. Pagan Rome made that contribution to the world. Rome was noted for justice, not mercy. Sins were not forgiven. If you broke the law, you paid the penalty. Under the iron rule of Rome the world was crying for mercy. This was a preparation for the coming of Christ who came as the Saviour from sin, that mankind might know the mercy and forgiveness of God.
This man is a murderer . . . it was thought by the heathens that if a person was worthy of death, a serpent would bite him. Even Jews believed this, as found in some of the writings of the Rabbis.
Acts 28:5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. (KJV)
Though Paul had escaped the sea, divine justice would not let him escape. They waited to see his hand swell, and Paul to fall dead, but when he shook it off in the fire and experienced no harm they changed their minds and in their superstition called him a god.
Acts 28:6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. (KJV)
With the poisonous bite of the viper; swelling is one of the symptoms that follows. And if the bite does not end in death, the swelling and redness continues for some time. The symptoms following the bite of a viper are said to be extremely sharp pain where bitten; swelling, red first, then purple, spreading by degrees; faintness; a quick, low, and sometimes interrupted pulse; nausea; diarrhea convulsions: vomiting; cold sweats; sometimes pains around the navel; and death. Paul had none of this. They saw no harm come to him.
They changed their minds, and said that he was a god . . . before they thought Paul was a murderer, but now they even ascribe deity to him, as was usual with the Gentiles, when anything extraordinary was performed by men. The Lystrians took Paul for Mercury, and Barnabas for Jupiter, when the apostles cured the cripple (Acts 14:11-12). What god the inhabitants of Melita thought Paul to be, is not certain; some think Hercules, who was worshipped in this island.
Acts 28:7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. (KJV)
In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island . . . or "the first man of the island" the governor of Melita used to be called. This man, Publius is thought to have been governor for the Romans in this island. However, he was a man of great wealth and property, and could provide for all that were in the ship, and receive them into his own house.
Who received us, and lodged us three days courteously . . . this was a very considerable instance of humanity and hospitality, to receive 276 strangers all at once into his houses, giving them food and lodging, for three days.
Acts 28:8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. (KJV)
A bloody flux . . . is a painful and dangerous disease; a misery in the bowels often causing a fever.
And prayed . . . Paul could do nothing of himself, and therefore begs God for the recovery of Publius's father. It is God only that brings death and makes alive (1 Sam.2:6).
Paul laid his hands on him . . . the laying on of hands was commonly used in miraculous cures (Mat.9:18; Mark 6:5); and is always accompanied with prayer (Mat.19:13). So Publius was re-paid for what he did for Paul and the rest who were ship wrecked.
Acts 28:9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: (KJV)
So when this was done . . . this miracle became known quickly over the island.
Others also which had diseases in the island came . . . from all parts of the island, they came to the apostle. And were healed . . . of whatever diseases that they had.
Acts 28:10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary. (KJV)
All those who were presented to the Paul and his company were cured. The effect of which was inward respect and esteem they had for them; and was a fruit of their faith.
And when we departed . . . from the island, which was not until three months from their first coming ashore.
They laded us with such things as were necessary . . . for the upcoming voyage, they provided a sufficient supply of food for them.
The Voyage Continues (Acts 28:11-15)
Acts 28:11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. (KJV)
And after three months we departed . . . from Melita, where they had spent the three winter months, which was not suitable for navigation. But spring was here, and with the weather agreeable, they left the island, and sailed in a ship of Alexandria (Acts 27:6).
Which had wintered in the isle . . . the ship probably spent the same 3 months there, for the same reason.
The three months that Paul stayed at Melita, he spent as a true labourer in the Lord's vineyard, planting a church that was famous for its steadfastness in the Truth.
Castor and Pollux . . . believed to be the sons of Jupiter, and to have control of storms, and the care of mariners, and were chosen for the patrons of that ship, by the pagan owners of it.
Acts 28:12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. (KJV)
Syracuse . . . was a famous city in the isle of Sicily, now called Saragossa. It is on the east side of the island, in the Adriatic sea; it was 180 furlongs, or 22 1/2 miles in circumference.
We tarried there three days . . . most likely to sell some of their wares, for the ship was making a trading voyage, or possibly for the sake of the conversation of Christians there.
Acts 28:13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: (KJV)
Rhegium . . . a city in the kingdom of Naples, over against Messina in Sicily. Puteoli is a sea town not far from Naples.
And after one day the south wind blew . . . they stayed one day at Rhegium, and when they departed from there, they had a favorable south wind. Whether the apostle preached here, or not, is not certain, since his stay was so short. There are some idle stories about the apostle's preaching; how that the fishes came to the shore to hear him; that the grasshoppers were commanded by him to be silent, and have never been seen in that place since.
And we came the next day to Puteoli . . . a city of Italy along the western coast.
Acts 28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. (KJV)
Where we found brethren . . . found some Christians, which is not strange, since it was a busy port, where many came and went, of different countries and nations. In particular, there were many Jews here, to whom the Gospel was first preached. Josephus speaks of Jews in this place, who were deceived by a false Alexander, who pretended to be the son of Herod, a prince of their nation. Patrobulus, the same with Patrobas in (Rom.16:14), who was supposedly one of the 70 disciples (Luke 10:1), is said to be bishop of this place, although there is no account of its church state until the "fifth" century.
And were desired to tarry with them seven days . . . the Christians at Puteoli wanted the apostle, and those that were with him, to stay a week with them, that they might have the advantage of a day of public worship together, and enjoy their Christian conversation. It seems that they did stay, with the consent of Julius the centurion; which shows, that he treated the apostle Paul with great respect and courteousy, and seemed eager to grant him favors.
And so we went toward Rome . . . after they had stayed seven days at Puteoli, they continued on their journey to Rome. They continued on by foot. Rome was the chief city in Italy, and was the empress of the world. It is known for the church to whom Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans.
Acts 28:15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. (KJV)
And from thence . . . that is, from Puteoli, where they were.
When the brethren heard of us . . . when the Christians at Rome heard that the apostle and his friends were landed at Puteoli, and were on their way to Rome, they came to meet them.
They came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns . . . both of these were towns that lay in the Appian way to Rome.
Whom when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage . . . when he saw the brethren that came to meet him, he gave thanks to God for the sight of them, which he had so much desired (Rom.1:10,13). Paul went on cheerfully, and in high spirits, towards Rome; wanting to see the rest, and believing that God had work for him to do there.
Paul In Rome (Acts 28:16-31)
Acts 28:16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. (KJV)
And when we came to Rome . . . to the city itself; the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard . . . or general of the army; or to the right place.
But Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him . . . this was either because of the letter which Festus sent to Rome concerning him and his case; or because of the intercession of the centurion, who had all along treated Paul decently. Paul was not placed in a dungeon with criminals. God by this means gave Paul an opportunity to go anywhere he wanted, although chained (Acts 28:20), he could still preach the Gospel that was not bound (2Tim.2:9). God is with Paul, just as he was with Joseph, when he was in prison (Gen.39:21), and gains favor for him.
Acts 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. (KJV)
When Paul was at Rome 3 days, after he had found himself a house, or lodging, and was settled in it, and was rested from the fatigue of his voyage and journey; he called the chief of the Jews together, not only out of extraordinary love which he had for those people, but also because the apostles were commanded to go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat.10:5-6). The whole idea of the Gospel of Christ is a doing good for evil. It so began with our Saviour and Lord, Who is the Author and Subject of it; and so must continue with His disciples, messengers, ministers, servants, etc.
Paul called the chief of the Jews together . . . he sent to the principal men among them; for though the Jews, were expelled from Rome in the reign of Claudius, they were now returned, and had their liberty of residing there. Whether they had a synagogue is not known, and if these men were the chief and leading men in it, the doctors, rulers and officers of it, is not certain.
And when they were come together . . . to Paul's house, or lodging. He said unto them, men and brethren . . . which was the usual form of address with the Jews (Acts 7:2).
Though I have committed nothing against the people and customs of our fathers . . . meaning he had said nothing disrespectfully of the people of the Jews; nor had done anything to the influence their temporal, spiritual and eternal good, but just the opposite. Neither had he said or done anything contrary to the laws and customs given to the Jews by Moses, even the ceremonial laws; for although he had stated everywhere that the Gentiles were not obliged to obey them, he did not discourage the Jews from the use of them; and often complied with them himself.
Yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans . . . he was first seized by the Jews in the temple of Jerusalem, and then fell into the hands of Lysias, the chief captain; who bound him, and by whom he was sent to Caesarea, where he was retained a prisoner both by Felix and Festus, Roman governors.
Acts 28:18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. (KJV)
Examined me . . . as Festus did in the presence of king Agrippa (Acts 25:26), who were both unbelievers, yet justified Paul, admitting that he had not committed any thing worthy of prison, much less death. It was thus that our Saviour was declared innocent by Pilate (Luke 23:4, 14).
Because there was no cause of death in me . . . no crime was ever proven against him, which was worthy of death. This was the opinion of Lysias the chief captain, and of Felix and Festus the Roman governors, and of King Agrippa.
Acts 28:19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. (KJV)
But when the Jews spake against it . . . or against his being cleared and dismissed, that he might be sent back to Jerusalem, to be tried and judged there, to which Festus seemed inclined.
I was constrained to appeal to Caesar . . . to prevent the plan of the Jews upon him, which was to way lay him and kill him, or by what ways they could, right or wrong, take away his life.
Not that I had ought to accuse my nation of . . . meaning, that Paul had no evil plan in this appeal against his country, to expose them, and bring them under reproach and censure, but only to vindicate himself, defend his innocence, and preserve his character and life. What Paul did was not of choice, but with restriction and reluctance. He said that he was not a friend to Heathen tribunals, nor any enemy to the Jewish nation.
Acts 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. (KJV)
For this cause therefore have I called for you . . . the reason he called them was to let them know the truth about his case; that although he was a prisoner, it was not for any crime that he had done, and certainly not any of a capital nature. He was no scandal to his country, and neither did he intend to raise any against it, or say or do anything which might bring it into contempt and danger.
Because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain . . . I'm sure he then pointed to the chain. The real reason that Paul was bound was that he had preached that the Messiah the tribes of Israel were hoping and waiting for, and Who is the only solid foundation of the hope of eternal life and salvation, was already come; and that he had suffered and died, and rose again from the dead, and that Jesus of Nazareth was He (Jer.14:8; 17:13). Jesus Christ, Who in the New Testament is called "our hope" (1 Tim.1:1), and "the hope of glory" (Col.1:27). He is indeed the Hope every Israelite and of every sinner, of every regenerated person, whether Jew or Gentile!
We are encouraged to hope in Him for grace here, and glory hereafter (Ps.73:24), for we see ourselves lost and undone, and that there is no salvation for them by their own works (Eph. 2:8-9). The only work needed by sinners is to believe God (John 6:28-29).
There is salvation in Christ, He and He alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). We are encouraged to hope in Him for it; because it is a work finished by Him (John 19:30), and is complete in Him (Heb.12:2). It is a free gift that cannot be worked for or bought (Rom.3:24; 5:15-18; 6:23; Eph.2:8-9); salvation is of free grace and favor bestowed upon believing sinners.
Acts 28:21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. (KJV)
The high priest, and the rest that had persecuted Paul, did not keep on with their cause, or were just negligent in the matter which they pretended so highly to concern their religion, so the Jews at Rome had not received notice or letters concerning Paul's trouble..
Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. (KJV)
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest . . . what was his opinion and judgment, concerning the Messiah, whether He was come or not, and whether Jesus of Nazareth was He; and other beliefs that related to Him, embraced by the Christians. Sect or heresy, for that is what the Jews called "the way," the Christian religion (Acts 24:5, 14).
Every where it is spoken against (Luke 2:34). This prophecy was indeed fulfilled, for Christ was a sign that shall be spoken against. Paul found true that the Gospel preached by him, both among Jews and Greeks, was a stumblingblock to the Jews, and foolishness to the Greeks (1 Cor.1:23).
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (KJV)
His lodging . . . to the house which he had most likely rented (Acts 28:16, 30).
He explained and bore witness to the Kingdom of God. Paul explained the Scriptures, and by them proved our Saviour to be the Messiah, and that the Kingdom of the Messiah, which God had promised, and Moses and the prophets had foretold, was now come.
Persuading them concerning Jesus . . . pleading with them, and telling them about Jesus, using proofs and arguments as were strong enough to prove what he said.
From morning till evening . . . Paul labored more abundantly (1 Cor.15:10). Paul really tried to persuade them that Jesus was the TRUE Messiah; that He was indeed truly God, and the Son of God, as well as man; that He was born of a virgin, and did miracles, and was in perfect obedience to the law; that He laid down His life as a sacrifice for sin (our sin, NOT His), to reconcile us with God the Father, to make atonement for it; that only He can bring everlasting righteousness to us (1 Cor.1:30); that He rose again from the dead for our justification (Rom.3:24; 5:1); that He was ascended up to Heaven, and was set down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Rom.8:34; Eph.1:18-23; Heb.1:3; 1 Pet.3:22), where He ever lives to make intercession for us (Rom.8:27,34; Heb.7:25-28), and will come again a second time (1 Thes.4:13-18; Rev.19:11-21) to judge both quick and dead (1 Cor.3:11-15; 2 Cor.5:10; Rev.20:11-15; Mat.25:41,46). I am sure that these are some of "the things concerning Jesus," that Paul labored more abundantly to try to persuade the Jews into believing. He certainly stressed the point of the blessings of grace which come only by Him, and such as peace (John 14:27) and pardon through His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19).
Out of the prophets: Ps.22:15-16; 16:10; 68:18; 110:1; Isa.7:14; 53:1-12; Dan.9:24-26; Mic.5:2; Zec.9:9; 13:7 . . .
plus many more.
Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. (KJV)
Just as today, there are different kinds of soils (souls) into which the Word (Seed) is cast, as is apparent in the parable of the sower (Mat.13:3-23). Paul found by out experience that NOT all men have faith (2 Thes.3:2), and and the Gospel preached does not profit, unless it is mixed with faith in them that hear it (Heb.4:2).
Jesus clearly tells us that there will be only a "few" who will ever get to Heaven (Mat.7:13-14; Luke 18:8). There are many who were/are not of Christ's sheep (then and now, Jews and Gentiles), their eyes were blinded (Jer.5:21; Eze.12:2; Mat.13:13; 2 Cor.3:14; 4:4; Eph.4:18), and their hearts were hardened (Isa.29:13; Mat.13:15; Mark 16:14; Rom.1:21; 2:5). The devil has a firm hold on them. Please make every effort to tell people about Jesus, because we (you and I) do not know if they are one of the sheep or not. We must obey the Lord Jesus and "go ye therefore" (Mat.28:19-20).
It is not unusual for one to believe, and another not believe. This is very common! Consider old Noah, he was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet.2:5) to the old world, but the vast majority were disobedient, very FEW believed (1 Pet.3:20). It was similar with the prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and other prophets of the Old Testament, and with John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and with Christ Himself. This has been the case ever since His time, now is, and will be, as long as the Gospel is preached.
Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, (KJV)
They agreed not among themselves . . . thus Christ came to send fire on the earth (Luke 12:49). He came to bring division, not peace (Luke 12:51-53). Even though the Gospel is a Gospel of peace (Eph.6:15) between man and man . . . and if its precepts are observed: love, meekness and goodness . . . it would banish all hatred, pride and contention out of the hearts and lives of men . . . BUT . . . but evil always arises out of the corruption that is in man, and from the evil one that sows his tares among us (Mat.13:25).
They departed . . . from the apostle's lodging to their own houses, or to some other place, where they could talk over and debate among themselves the things they had heard.
After that Paul had spoken one word . . . a very remarkable one, which he gave them when they left.
Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers . . . Paul quotes the Passage in (Isa.6:9-10).
Acts 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: (KJV)
Isaiah spoke these words in wrath and judgment to the people of Israel, rejected from being the people of God. The people heard with physical ears but not spiritual ears! They heard, but did not understand! Just like today!
Millions have an opportunity today to hear the Gospel, which is a great blessing because it is good news, and it is the voice of Christ Himself. They hear but do NOT understand!
Seeing ye shall see . . . Paul told them they see miracles done, but do not perceive . . . them to be works of God.
Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (KJV)
For the heart of this people is waxed gross . . . because of carnal and temporal things. Hearts become hardened against divine and spiritual things.
And their ears are dull of hearing . . . they simply do NOT hear the Gospel and its wonders that can save their souls. They simply stop up their ears.
And their eyes have they closed . . . they wilfully shut their eyes to all the evidence of the facts, miracles, prophecies and preaching that can save their souls from and agonizing and eternal Hell that awaits them (Rev.20:15; 2 Thes.1:9-10)
Lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted . . . to see the evidence of miracles, take in the Truth of Gospel, see and understand the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, and so be turned away from darkness, ignorance and unbelief, to light, belief, knowledge, Truth and faith.
And I should heal them . . . or have mercy on them, and forgive their sins. Only when the Gospel is preached, can the understanding of spiritual things come about. Isaiah was right! Paul was right! Jesus IS right!
Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. (KJV)
Be it known therefore unto you . . . unbelievers and despisers, do not say you never heard the Truth.
The salvation of God . . . that is the Gospel of Christ!
Is sent unto the Gentiles . . . by our Saviour's command (Mat. 28:19-20; Luke 24:47). Paul had by experience found the tremendous effects of it, as may be seen in all of his travels, where we may find many of the Gentiles were obedient unto the Word, which the Jews contradicted, opposed and blasphemed.
The Gospel which declares that salvation, which God planned from all eternity (Tit.1:2); made provision for through His only begotten Son (John 3:16), and secured in the covenant of grace (Luke 1:72); which He appointed, called, and sent Christ to achieve, and which He has accomplished by His obedience, His sufferings and His death. This salvation is a full, complete, spiritual and eternal salvation (once saved, always saved), from sin, Satan, the world, the curse of the law and eternal death in the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:15).
Friends, the Gospel which proclaims this is the power of God unto it (Rom.1:16; 1 Cor.1:18), to them that believe (John 1:12; 1 Cor.1:21; Gal.3:22), is sent to the Gentile world by God Himself, who ordered His servants to go to them, upon the rejection of the Gospel by the Jews.
And that they will hear it . . . the Gentiles will hear and understand it and obey it. They will believe it and profess it. Paul could declare by his own knowledge, for he had preached it in many nations and could testify how gladly they heard it, and that with great pleasure they received it, and readily obeyed it, then cheerfully they professed it to others. They stood firm in their belief of the Gospel where the Jews despised and turned away from it.
Acts 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. (KJV)
And when he had said these words . . . when Paul chastised the Jews by citing the biting prophecy of Isaiah, and their stubbornness to accept Christ as their Messiah. It must have really disturbed the unbelieving ones of his audience.
The Jews departed . . . feeling very uneasy and disturbed, I'm sure.
And had great reasoning among themselves . . . some accused Paul while others vindicated him . . . some believing (Acts 28:24), others not believing. Our Saviour and blessed Lord, and His Gospel as well, being the reason for the rise and fall of many that day, as well as today!
Acts 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, (KJV)
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house . . . in a house which he hired (rented) with his own money; in which his friends Luke, Aristarchus and others, lived with him . . . where he was guarded by a soldier. Whether at the end of these two years Paul was set free, and for ten years he traveled into Italy, France, and Spain, preaching the Gospel, as some think; or whether he then suffered martyrdom, is not certain. The latter is most likely.
Luke was probably with him, when the apostle wrote his second letter to Timothy from Rome, and when the time of his martyrdom seemed to himself to be at hand (2 Tim.4:7-11).
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (KJV)
The kingdom of God . . . is what the Gospel is also called. Paul preached that kingdom of God which is to come at the end of the world, falls in with the subject that he so often declared . . . the resurrection.
Those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ . . . Christ's teachings and miracles, His death and His resurrection.
With all confidence . . . Paul boldly preached Jesus with all the freedom and liberty in his soul, even though he was bound with an iron chain. He spoke plainly, open and with faith. He had great courage and boldness, even in the midst of his enemies.
No man forbidding him . . . God, who puts bounds on the raging sea, had stopped the Jews' malice, and bid it go no further. He who delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Dan.3:25), He had delivered Daniel from the lion's den (Dan.6:22), had delivered Paul from Nero, and would have kept him from death, had not Paul's death been more for the glory and benefit of God, and the good of Paul himself, than his life (2 Tim.4:6). This book may be called, not only the Acts of the apostles, but the wonders of the Apostles.
Now unto God the Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus, who are able to work so none can hinder, be all honor and glory, dominion and power, for ever and ever. Lord Jesus, come soon, please! Amen.
Book of Acts
Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5 . . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Ch.23 . . Ch.24 . . Ch.25 . . Ch.26 . . Ch.27 . . Ch.28