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Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 11/1/1990

Paul and the Viper

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Paul was once on the Island of Malta (off the coast of Italy). While there he tended a fire. The Bible tells us: “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened to his hand” (Acts 28:3).

Everyone expected Paul to get sick or immediately die from the bite. But, “he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm” (Acts 28:5). When the people saw that Paul was not at all harmed by the snake, they knew there was something different about him.

This event reminds us that Jesus keeps His promises. Since His apostles did not yet have the New Testament to show people that what they were preaching was from God, they were promised the ability to do miracles (read Mark 16:15-20). For example, His apostles would not be hurt by snake bites. Paul was living proof!

Jesus still keeps His promises. Although we are not promised that we won't die from snake bites, we are told that if we obey God's Word we will be saved (Matthew 7:21). We are often tempted to do wrong; God has promised to help us overcome these temptations (I Corinthians 10:13). 

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