A cheeky snake bit Paul
After we got to the land all right, we found out that it was an island called Malta. The people that lived there were good to us. It was raining, and it was cold, so those people lit a fire and told us, “Come and get warm at this fire.”
Paul walked around and picked up some sticks and put them on the fire. But a cheeky snake jumped out from those sticks to get away from the fire, and it bit Paul’s hand and just hung on there. The people saw it hanging from Paul’s hand, and they knew that it was a cheeky snake, so they said to each other, “I reckon that prisoner murdered somebody. He was lucky in the sea, and he didn’t drown, but the god that punishes people will not let him stay alive. That snake will kill him dead.”
But Paul just shook the snake until it fell off into the fire, and nothing happened to him. The people watched Paul. They thought, “His body will swell up, or he will fall down dead.” But after they waited a long time, they saw that he was still all right. Nothing bad happened to him. So then they changed their minds and said, “This man is a god.”
Paul got Jesus to make a lot of people better on Malta Island
The Roman boss over that island was called Publius. He owned some gardens near that beach. He was good to us. He told us to come and stay at his house, so we stayed there for 3 days, and he took care of us.
At that time, Publius’s father was very sick. He was just lying on his bed all the time. He was hot with fever, and he had diarrhoea. So Paul went to see him. Then Paul put his hands on him, and he prayed for him, and Publius’s father got better.
After Paul did that, all the other sick people on the island came to him, and God made them better too. 10 Then the people there did a lot of things to show us that they thought we were great. And when the time came for us to get ready to sail away on another ship, those people gave us food and other things that we needed.
We all sailed to Putioli, then we kept going by road
11 There was another ship there that had statues of the twin gods called Castor and Pollux on the front of it. That ship came from the town called Alexandria before the bad weather started, and it stayed on Malta Island until the bad weather was finished. We stayed on Malta Island in that bad weather time too, for about 3 months. Then that ship got ready to go on to Italy country, so we all got on that ship to go to Rome, in Italy country.
12 We sailed away from Malta Island, and we got to an island called Sicily, and we stopped at a town called Siracuse. We stayed there for 3 days. 13 Then we kept going on that ship, and we got to a town called Regium, in Italy country. The next day, the wind was blowing from behind us and pushing us fast, and the day after that, we got to the town called Putioli. Then we got off there, and we left that ship. 14 We met some Christians in Putioli, and they asked us to stay with them, so we stayed there for a week. Then we left Putioli and started to go along the road to Rome.
Christians came from Rome to meet Paul
15 Some Christians that lived in Rome heard that we were coming, so they came out from Rome to meet us half-way. Some of them met us at the place called Appius, and some of them met us at the place called the 3 pubs. Paul saw those people, and he felt really good and happy, and he thanked God for them.
16 Then we all got to Rome. The Roman boss that was in charge of the prisoners there let Paul live in a house by himself, but there was always a soldier there to guard him.
Paul talked to the Jewish leaders in Rome
17 Paul was in Rome for 3 days, then he sent a message to the Jewish leaders to come and talk with him. So they came, and Paul said to them, “My brothers, I didn’t do anything bad to our people, and I didn’t say anything bad about our Jewish culture. But our leaders in Jerusalem grabbed me, and they were going to kill me. Then the Roman soldiers came and got me, and they made me their prisoner. 18 The Roman bosses asked me questions in their court, and then they listened to what I said, and they didn’t find any reason to kill me. They reckoned that I didn’t do anything bad, so they wanted to let me go. 19 But the Jewish leaders didn’t agree, so I had to ask those bosses to send me to Caesar, the big boss in Rome, for him to judge me.
But I don’t want to blame my own Jewish people about anything.* 20 So I asked you to come here now. I want to meet you, and I want to tell you my story. You see, I believe in the man that we are all waiting for. He is the man that God promised to send to us Israel people. But our leaders of Israel didn’t agree with me, and that is the reason why I’m a prisoner now, tied up with this chain.” That is what Paul told the Jewish leaders in Rome.
21 Then they said, “We didn’t get any letters about you from our Jewish friends in Judea country. And some people came here from Judea, but none of them said anything bad about you. 22 But we know that people in a lot of places don’t agree with the Christians, so we want to hear what you have to say.”
23 Then they talked together and agreed to come back on another day to hear Paul.
Paul said, “People that are not Jews will believe God’s message”
When that day came, a lot of Jews came to Paul’s house. He started talking with them in the morning, and he kept going all day, until the sun went down. He told them about how God wants to bring people into his family, and he tried to get them to understand that Jesus is the man that God sent to save people. He showed them what God’s book says. He talked to them about the words that Moses wrote in God’s book, and also the words that God’s other men wrote in his book. He showed them that God’s men all told messages about Jesus.
24 Some of them believed Paul’s words, but some of them didn’t agree with him. 25 So they started to argue with each other, and then they got up to go home. Then Paul told the people that didn’t believe his message, “The Holy Spirit said a true word to your grand-fathers, a long time ago. He told God’s man, Isaiah, to write this, and it is in God’s book. He wrote,
26-27 ‘Go to the Jewish people and say,
“You keep on hearing God’s words with your ears,
but you don’t understand them properly.
It’s like your ears are going deaf.
You keep on looking with your eyes, and you see God doing things,
but you don’t understand what you see.
It’s like you closed your eyes.
Your problem is that you don’t want to know God’s message.
If you do understand God’s message properly, you will turn around and come back to him,
and then God will not say you are guilty for the bad things you did.
But you mob don’t want to come back to God.” ’*
That’s what Isaiah wrote.”
28-29 Paul kept on talking to them. He said, “You Jewish people have to understand this. God sent his message to you, but you didn’t listen to it. So he is sending that message to the people that are not Jews, and they will listen to it, and believe it.” That is what Paul told the Jewish people in Rome that did not believe his message.
30 For the next 2 years Paul was a prisoner in Rome, but he was not in jail. They let him stay in the house that he rented. A lot of people came to him, and he was happy to see them and to talk with them. 31 He taught them how God takes people into his family, and he taught them all about our leader Jesus Christ. He wasn’t frightened of anyone, and nobody tried to stop him talking to people.
* 28:19 Acts 25:11 * 28:26-27 Isaiah 6:9-10