Miracle on Malta (Acts 28:7-10)

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. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.” (Acts 28:8–10, AV)

Many things have been labeled miracles throughout history. In 2009, there was an event called the “Miracle on the Hudson.” On January 15th, Us Airways flight 1549 departed LaGuardia Airport with 155 people on board. The pilot of the plane was Captain Sullenberger (Sully). Shortly after take-off, the plane hit a flock of Canadian Geese, which caused both of the plane’s engines to fail. Unable to glide back to the runway, the captain and the first officer successfully glided the plane to land on the Hudson River where all passengers and crew survived with no serious injuries. The event was labeled a miracle because the probability of surviving such an incident was questionable.

Some people say they that there are no miracles, attributing them to human endeavor, or some unknown natural phenomenon. So, what is a miracle. The dictionary defines a miracle as, “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” To satisfy the humanist, it also goes on and states one is “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.”

I have heard Christians state that there are no miracles since God providentially works in everything and thus, it is all part of His plan anyway. Other believers attribute miracles such as healings as specific manifestations wrought by God. While it is true that God is in control of everything, the Bible speaks of God working specific miracles for his glory (e.g., Acts 8:13; 19:11; 1 Cor 12:10, etc.).

The miracles of God have a glorious purpose. I heard a pastor state once, “It is a miracle that anyone actually listens to me speak.” When you consider the statement, it must be true. The only reason people will hearken to the word preached is because the Spirit of God illuminates truth to the heart of the believer (1 Cor 2:9-16). The purpose of miracles is to reveal the power and truth of God to people.

In Malta, God used Paul to heal the father of the island’s chief from fever and dysentery. As a result, everyone on the island with illnesses came to Paul and were healed. While, the Scripture does not state this, Paul definitely would have given glory to God for these miraculous healings. In this way, the people of the island would have seen and understood this to be a manifestation of God’s power.

While throughout the Bible we see miraculous signs and wonders, does God still do miracles today? I have spoken with missionaries that went to unreached people groups in remote regions. They report of God doing mighty works, miraculous things among these people that could not be explained by natural phenomena. These signs pointed these people to the power and glory of God.

Yet, why do we not see such manifestations in this country? Perhaps it is because we have become too secular. Here we have a propensity to attribute healings, miraculous deliverances like happened in “The Miracle on the Hudson,” to human skill, unexplained natural phenomena, or other causes. Perhaps one of the problems is that we fail to open our eyes to the possibility that God does interface in our human experience in miraculous ways. Consider the greatest miracle, our salvation and our subsequent transformation into Christlikeness. Some will attribute this to human endeavor rather than the power of the Almighty working in us. We must always be ready to give the glory to God for the miraculous works He has done and continues to do.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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