Chapter Twenty-Eight — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 05/28/2023Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 28:7 NKJV — In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days.
b. Publius was the name of the chief magistrate of that region.
c. He owned property—estates—in that area.
d. He received them hospitably and kindly accommodated and fed them for three days.
e. Acts 28:8 KJV — 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.
f. While they were there, they found out that Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery.
g. Paul prayed, laid hands on him, and healed him.
h. Every time Jesus prayed for someone with a fever, it left immediately (Matthew 8:15; Mark 1:31; Luke 4:38-39; John 4:52).
2. Healing the Sick.
a. Acts 28:9 KJV — So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
b. Other islanders heard about the supernatural healing.
c. Faith arose in their hearts, and they came to Paul to be healed by the power of God.
d. Luke was a physician, but they came to Paul to be healed.
e. Acts 28:10 AMPC — They showed us every respect and presented many gifts to us, honoring us with many honors; and when we sailed, they provided and put on [board our ship] everything we needed.
f. They honored them with many honors—expressing great respect and deep gratitude.
g. They also gave them gifts of honor—which means they were not cheap gifts, but good and generous gifts that were the best they had to offer.
h. On top of that, they provided everything else they might need for the remainder of their journey.
3. Departing Malta.
a. Acts 28:11 KJV — And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
b. After three months, which would have been January or February, they departed.
c. They found passage on an Egyptian ship which carried grain from Africa to Italy and which had wintered in Malta.
d. Castor and Pollux (Greek: Dioskouroi) — the two brightest stars in the constellation of Gemini and regarded as highly auspicious to mariners.
e. According to their pagan beliefs, Castor and Pollux were the twin sons of Jupiter (Zeus) and Leda, and were regarded as the divine guardians, or protectors, of sailors.
f. Symbols, or images, of Castor and Pollux were affixed at the head and stern of many ships.
4. Sailing to Rome.
a. Acts 28:12 AMPC — We landed at Syracuse and remained there three days,
b. Syracuse was the capital of Sicily, built 730 years before Christ, and was one of the most famous cities of antiquity.
c. Acts 28:13 AMPC — And from there we made a circuit [following the coast] and reached Rhegium; and one day later a south wind sprang up, and the next day we arrived at Puteoli.
d. Rhegium was a city in southern Italy, opposite the Sicilian city of Messina—now called Reggio.
e. Puteoli was a seaport town on the Bay of Naples, built around 470 B.C., and now called Pozzuoli.
f. It was an important port because it was the main harbor for the city of Rome—170 miles away.
g. Much of the commerce from Africa and the Middle East came through Puteoli to Rome.
h. There were two large amphitheaters there—one of which could hold up to 60,000 people—and a Roman forum, dating from the 1st century A.D.
5. Christian Brethren.
a. Acts 28:14 AMPC — There we found some [Christian] brethren and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
b. They found some Christian converts living there already, who pressed them to stay with them for a week.
c. Many Italians had been converted since Pentecost.
d. Among those who witnessed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, there were some Jews from Rome.
e. And they likely carried the message of the Gospel back with them to Italy (Acts 2:8-10).
f. Also, there were Christian converts, such as Cornelius, who potentially shared their faith with friends and family.
g. Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans around 60 A.D., 30 years after Pentecost.
h. Romans 1:7-8 KJV — To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
i. Acts 28:15 AMPC — And the [Christian] brethren there, having had news of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and received new courage.
j. The town of Three Taverns was between 28-33 miles from Rome, and the town of Appii approximately 52.
k. Christians came from as far away as these two towns to meet them.
l. When Paul saw them, he gave thanks to God and his courage was strengthened.
m. Courage (Greek tharsos) — courage; confidence; boldness.
6. Arrival in Rome.
a. Acts 28:16 AMPC — When we arrived at Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
b. Rome was the capital of Italy, originally founded by Romulus around 753 B.C., and one of the most well-known cities in the world.
c. The prisoners were delivered to the commander of the emperor’s guards.
d. But Paul was permitted to live in a house by himself, with only one soldier to guard him.