Notes for the July 28th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast.

Introduction

Welcome to the July 28th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast. I’m Matt Ellis, and I’m the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida.

Today’s reading is Psalm 46-48 and Acts 28, but we will focus only on the New Testament in this podcast.

If you have questions about anything in the Old Testament or New Testament reading assignment, please email me at mattellis1997@gmail.com. I may answer it on the next podcast.

Acts 28

Paul is on his way to Rome.

Vss. 1-10 – Paul at Malta

Malta is a tiny island. Imagine that Italy is a boot. The country of Sicily is a “big rock” near the “toe” of the boot. Malta is south of that “big rock.”

Vs. 3-6 – Paul is bitten by a snake:

  • “He’s a criminal?”
  • “Wait a minute! He’s a god!”

Vs. 7-8 – Introduced to Publius

  • He welcomed Paul’s entourage and graciously provided for them for three days.
  • Paul healed Publius’ father of a fever and dysentery, a disease of the intestinal tract that causes pain and diarrhea (Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon).

Vs. 8 – Paul healed others on the island

Vs. 9 – Apparently, because of their gratitude, the people of Malta provided for the needs of Paul and his entourage.

Vss. 11-16 – Arrive in Rome

Vs. 11 – they stay in Malta 3 months

Vs. 12 – they stayed in Syracuse 3 days (in Sicily)

V. 13 – they reached Rhegium (the tip [“toe”] of Italy; and then Puteoli (the “lower shin” of Italy)

V. 14 – they reached Rome (located on the western coast of Italy, about halfway up the “boot”)

V. 15 – Believers came to visit Paul; their visits encouraged him greatly (apparently, he was at least mildly discouraged)

V. 16 – Paul was put under house arrest in Rome with a guard watching him at all times; this time period is probably when he wrote the prison epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon).

Vss. 17-22 – Paul and the Jewish leaders in Rome

V. 17-20 – Paul called for the Jewish leaders after three days in Rome. He told them of the story that got him sent to Rome

V. 21-22 – The Jews hadn’t heard anything of what Paul had been accused of. But they were intrigued and wanted to hear what he had to say.

Vss. 23-28 – Paul’s message and the Jewish departure

V. 23-24 – A day was set. From sunup to sundown, the Jewish leaders came to the place where Paul lived. They listened to him as he tried to persuade them from the Scriptures about Jesus.

V. 25-27 – Many of the Jewish leaders left when Paul applied Isaiah 6:9-10 to his listeners’ ancestors. That passage said the people would not listen to what the Lord said.

V. 28 – Paul, for the third time, said he was going to the Gentiles. Even as the Jews did not listen, the Gentiles overwhelmingly would.

V. 29 – Doesn’t show up in the more reliable manuscripts. Yet, it does seem that it would accurately explain how the Jews behaved as they left Paul’s presence.

Vss. 30-31 – Paul stayed under house arrest in Rome for two years.

This chapter (and book) ends with a specific date of Paul’s house arrest and yet no mention of his death. This almost certainly points to the fact that Paul was released at the end of the two years.

It is possible that Paul made good on his desire to proclaim the Gospel in Spain (Romans 15:22-29). Yet, at some point in the future, Paul would be arrested again and would be martyred for the faith. Second Timothy was written days or weeks before Paul’s death.

It seems that Luke could have written a trilogy. He wrote the Gospel of Luke, which talks about what Jesus did and said. Then, he wrote Acts that recounts the activities of God’s Holy Spirit in the early church. But, for some reason, the Holy Spirit didn’t see fit for Luke to write a third book to recount Paul’s life up to and including his martyrdom. One likely reason is that it was never all about Paul. The Gospel, made possibly by Jesus, is entrusted to men and women of all ages. Paul was merely a very powerful, competent ambassador for Christ.

Now, it’s our turn. If Luke was writing an account of how you and I were handling the Gospel, what would he say? I pray that he would note that we were being faithful to share it with others.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, the Gospel is powerful! It is the message of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection. And it is a free gift to anyone who will place their trust in Jesus to forgive them, save them, and fit them for Heaven. Help us, Lord Jesus, to be found faithful as the story of the Gospel’s progress now has the spotlight aimed directly at us. May we always be ready and willing to share the Good News with those we encounter. We pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Closing

I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If looking over the notes for this podcast would be beneficial to you, hop on over to my website at mattsmusings.net. I will provide a link in this episode’s show notes.

The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you next time.