Paul’s journey to Rome was, to say the least, an adventure. Driven by hurricane force winds for fourteen days and then crashing into the shore of an island called Malta.
Most people familiar with the story recorded in Acts chapters 27 & 28 also know that when they landed on the island, Paul was putting some wood on the fire when a snake in the sticks bit Paul on his hand. The Islanders seeing this decided that Paul must be a murderer whom justice was not going to allow to escape. But as they continued to watch and saw that no harm at all was going to come to him from the snake bite, they changed their minds and decided he must be a god.
But there is another story here. Probably much more important for us to consider than the snake bite.
Think about it, fourteen days, or more, on a helpless ship driven by hurricane force winds. Early on in that fourteen days, all hope among those on the ship had been abandoned of coming out of this alive. Very little food was eaten, and only then at the encouragement of Paul. And after all of that, to have to swim for your life from the wrecked ship to make it to land.
After enduring all of that, to be blessed by an island of people who were willing and eager to help and to care for you.
So why was Paul bitten by the snake? He was putting brushwood on to the fire.
He was still serving. Still doing his part to help. Exhausted and worn out and surrounded by a group of people offering to serve him, he could not stop doing his part and serving others.
You talk about living a life that says, “It’s not about me.” Serving God and others. That’s who he was because he followed Jesus.