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The Barbarians Who Understood Hospitality (Acts 28:2)

Introductory Thoughts

A shipwreck landed Paul and others on an island called Melita (Acts 28:1). The Bible says that those people of that land were barbarians. When a viper latched onto Paul’s arm, these barbarians assumed that this was judgment because of some crime he had committed (Acts 28:3-4). When Paul simply shook off the viper into the fire and remained unharmed, the people claimed that Paul must have been a god (Acts 28:6). Although these people were superstitious and ignorant concerning the truth, it appears that they had an understanding of hospitality. Because of the rain and cold, the native people kindled a fire and received Paul and those with him. In addition to this, a man named Publius received Paul and lodged him three days. The world should never consistently display more hospitality than Christians.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When Pharaoh's daughter saw baby Moses in the ark, she knew he was helpless and hired his own mother to care for him. When Moses was old enough, he moved to the palace and was brought up as the son of Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus 2:2-10). How did Pharaohs daughter demonstrate hospitality?
  • (For everyone): How did these barbarians understand the concept of hospitality? How is it that other people who have never trusted Christ as their Saviour often exemplify hospitality?
  • If barbarians understood hospitality, how much more should we understand and implement hospitality toward others? What can we learn from the example of these barbarians?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to show you how and when to demonstrate hospitality.
  • Ask the Lord to show you when others need your help.