Acts 27

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“The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn’t swim ashore and escape. But the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul, so he didn’t let them carry out their plan” (Acts 27:42-43 NLT).

July 10, 2018

MIRACLE ON THE MED
When it appeared that Paul and the 276 people aboard the ship would survive the storm, he and his fellow prisoners were threatened by the soldiers. Yet, even in this, God protected Paul, giving him favor with the commanding officer. The storm, the sailors and the soldiers, all at different times, threatened Paul’s life, but God intervened every time. Not only did Paul survive, but all 276 passengers did as well. Many a ship and all aboard have lost their lives in lesser storms on the Mediterranean Sea, but God had called Paul to go to Rome, and to Rome he would go. The miracle on the Med gave Paul a platform to preach the gospel to every passenger with great credibility.

“But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul” (Acts 27:11 NLT).

July 9, 2018

PAUL’S INFLUENCE GROWS THROUGH TRIAL
The Roman officer in charge of getting Paul and the other prisoners to Rome showed great favor to Paul, allowing him to travel with his friends, Luke and Aristarchus, and permitting him to go ashore at Sidon to visit friends and get personal supplies. However, his kindness didn’t extend to taking advice from Paul on maritime matters. Ignoring Paul’s warning not to sail, the Roman officer chose to follow the advice of the ship’s captain and owner, who preferred a more comfortable winter’s anchorage in nearby Phoenix. Yet, as soon as they set out on what should’ve been a short journey along the Southern coast of Crete, a “Northeaster” of typhoon force blew them far out to sea. As their condition grew more desperate, Paul’s prior warning must have continued to ring in the Roman officer’s ears.

Paul’s influence began to grow with the Romans and the sailors from that day. As their situation in the storm worsened, Paul’s voice would became the only voice of hope in their midst. The Lord gave a Paul a platform of influence everywhere he went, that he might share the gospel with everyone.

“And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.” (Acts 27:35-36 ESV)

July 10, 2016

Paul’s status changed from prisoner to priest and from accused criminal to acting captain as everyone aboard the storm-driven ship began to listen to him. Although others may disregard our Christian testimony or even demean it, when storms come they often turn to the one who knows the Lord. This is what happened to Paul. Both the sailors and the soldiers were encouraged to hear his words.

“And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius” (Acts 27:1 ESV)

July 9, 2016

Dr. Luke once again includes himself in the Acts narrative with the use of the first person plural “we.” This is the last of the four “we passages” found in Acts (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-8; 27:1-28:16). Although there is some debate about these passages, the simplest explanation is that Luke was actually an eye witness of these four events. This explains the great detail of these passages, where Luke even gives the name (“Julius”), rank (“centurion”) and company (“Augustan Cohort”) of the one responsible for transporting Paul to Rome to appear before Caesar. Throughout the account of their sea voyage to Rome, this Roman centurion showed favor to Paul, allowing him to receive comfort from his friends when visiting a port and protecting him from his soldiers when they were shipwrecked. Luke speaks so favorably of Julius, and they spent so much time together, that one must wonder whether he came to faith during this time. Will “we” meet Julius the Centurion in heaven someday?

“‘God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said” (Acts 27:24-25)

July 10, 2012

Although a prisoner in chains, the apostle Paul became the spiritual leader of all those on board this ship caught in a terrible storm. The sailors, the soldiers, even the Roman centurion were all encouraged by Paul’s faith. The way we respond to life’s storms is often the platform God uses to give us authority to preach the gospel and to bring glory to Himself.