Monday, April 29, 2013

Acts 27 - Sea Journey to Rome

LINK: Acts 27

Paul's Journey under Arrest from Palestine to Rome c AD58-61

Luke (the author of Acts) joined Paul and Aristarchus for a voyage to Rome. Paul and other prisoners were under the charge of Julius, who was a hardened Roman centurion. He gave Paul some freedom (27:3) and even spared his life (27:43). This detailed story tells how Paul bore witness of Jesus even in a storm!

Adramayttium was a port on the northeast coast of the Aegean Sea. You can follow the map to see the direction of the journey. They switched ships at Myra (7) and eventually made it to Fair Havens on the Island of Crete (10). 

The fast that is mentioned in 27:9 is the Day of Atonement which occurs sometime between September 14th and October 14th. Sailing was doubtful in September and made impossible by November. Instead of wintering in Lasea or Fair Havens, as Paul cautioned, the pilot and owner set sail and were caught in a Nor'easter that contained hurricane-like wind. They almost hit the sandbars of Syrtis off the coast of Libya (13) and threw much of the cargo and tackle overboard, but they gave up all hope of being saved (27:20). 

Paul gave them hope and proved a great leader during this time. He warned the soldiers and centurion that if the sailors abandoned ship all would be lost. Consequently, they cut off the lifeboats. Now they could only rely on Paul's God! He also encouraged the 276 passengers to eat assuring them that they would not perish. Eventually, they ran the ship aground off the shore of the Island of Malta (15). The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners so they would not be killed for letting any get away, but the centurion wanted to spare Paul's life (27:43). Consequently, all the prisoners were saved as Paul predicted (27:22). Also, Paul was preserved for ministry in Rome.


If you did not have the opportunity to read yesterday's article, go back and read it and pray about your part in being a witness of Jesus. Could you make a public testimony of what He has done in your life? Practice that today. 


Lord, help us to bear witness of Jesus and give hope to others in the storms of our life. Amen. 

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