Paul is persecuted and brought before leaders such as Felix, Festus, Agrippa, Bernice, and would soon appear before Caesar. When he first came into the faith, the Lord had said that Paul would bear His name before kings (Acts 9:15), so all of these defenses of the Gospel he had to give where part of the plan of God. This reminds me of what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 10:17-19: “But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak.”
What happens in the beginning of chapter 28 makes an important point. When the snake came out of the fire and bit Paul, the natives of Malta said, “"No doubt this man is a murderer.” After they waited and saw he didn’t suffer any consequences from the snake bit, they said he was a god. The opinions of people don’t matter, and we can’t pay attention to them. Proverbs 29:25 says, “the fear of man is a snare:” this “trap” of the fear of man has captured many people. Many make decisions to please people and many are offended when they don’t get treated the way they think they should by others. These people in Malta made two completely wrong assumptions about Paul based on what they saw and people are going to do the same in your life. You can’t worry about what people think of you. Fear God and do His will; that is the only way to truly love people.
As you read the last two verses of the book of Acts, you see that Paul spent what was probably the last two years of his life in house arrest in Rome. He got to preach to “all who came to him” along with Caesar’s household (See Philippians 4:22). Paul had finished his race and was ready to see Jesus’ face when he became a martyr under Nero’s rule.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan