Acts 27:26-28:14

Mar 29, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

Acts 27:26 “But we must run aground on a certain island.”

dei = necessary, it is required

Acts 27:27 ¶ But when the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to surmise that they were approaching some land.

fourteen days in this storm, they have not eaten, no appetites for sure.

Sailors can sense land (hearing, smell, etc)

Acts 27:28 They took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and a little farther on they took another sounding and found it to be fifteen fathoms.

anyone know what a fathom is ?

weight on a rope, knots every 6 feet (a fathom) … 120 feet, pull up, repeat, now it 90 feet.

Acts 27:29 Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak.

fear of bottoming out in the bars along northern African coast (north of Cyrene) called the Shallows of Syrtis

they lower four real anchors off the stern and hope that some grab the bottom

Acts 27:30 But as the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had let down the ship’s boat into the sea, on the pretense of intending to lay out anchors from the bow,

Acts 27:31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.”

Acts 27:32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away.

Paul now exercises his authority even more. Not as a Lord, but as a speaker for God.

the prisoner is telling the Centurion what to do (by speaking God’s word)

God will bring us through the trial as unscathed as possible, IF we go through it according to His Word.

  • if we do it our own way, we create more trials that God had not deemed necessary
  • conditional promises from God are null and void if we step off His path.

Acts 27:33 ¶ Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing.

Acts 27:34 “Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.”

Acts 27:35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat.

Acts 27:36 All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food.

Acts 27:37 All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons.

Paul, the prisoner, is now directing affairs and actions of 276 men (including 101 Roman soldiers) just by 

  • humbly speaking God’s word 
  • and caring for their well being.

Acts 27:38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea.

remaining amphorae are now tossed (each one weighs 30-35 lbs)

why toss out the remaining amphorae ? If God is going to bring us safely to the land, what does the extra weight matter ?

we participate in the plan (common sense, wisdom, obedience in the details)
(in this case, extra weight serves as a great spiritual metaphor to avoid getting stuck in the wrong spot along God’s plan)

Acts 27:39 ¶ When day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could.

Acts 27:40 And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach.

remove everything slowing us down, do everything to speed up and get this thing up on the sand as much as possible.

Acts 27:41 But striking a reef where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to be broken up by the force of the waves.

front is stuck in the reef (coral beds) , back is being pushed back and forth , ship is ripping apart.

Acts 27:42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape;

what’s the big deal if they escape ?

Roman soldiers must serve the penalty of the escaped prisoner

Acts 27:43 but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land,

There’s that evidence that Paul is getting special treatment for some “unknown” reason LOL

Acts 27:44 and the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land.

Acts 28:1 ¶ When they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta.

island, south of Sicily, south of Italy.

st Pauls bay in Malta.jpg

Acts 28:2 The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.

Acts 28:3 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 itself on his hand.

Paul think a snake is a stick, tries to add it to the fire, and gets bit. (more evidence of bad eyesight)

note that as beat up as Paul is, close to 60 yrs old now, is helping with the fire (rather than sitting back privileged and letting everyone else do the work). Leaders serve.

Acts 28:4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.”

a little superstition here, is all.

Acts 28:5 However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.

Acts 28:6 But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.

oh the fickle humans that we are (first he is a murder who deserves death, then a god because he survived a snake bite)

let us not live our lives for the approval of men, but the stable approval of God.

Acts 28:7 ¶ Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days.

Acts 28:8 And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him.

Acts 28:9 After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured.

Acts 28:10 They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.

Acts 28:11 ¶ At the end of three months we set sail on an Alexandrian ship which had wintered at the island, and which had the Twin Brothers for its figurehead.

Any idea why Luke bothers to record the figurehead on the bow of the boat the boarded ?

twin brother are Castor and Pollux according to greek mythology

Their mother was Leda queen of Sparta, but they had different fathers; Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan.

Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo’s fire.

I doubt that Luke is superstitious (while this figurehead on the bow of the boat would have been considered a good omen to the greeks and Romans (but Paul would have corrected that fast anyways)

I think that Luke is simply specifying which ship they boarded. (largest class of alexandrian ships over 180 feet long) 

Acts 28:12 After we put in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days.

east coast of Sicily

Acts 28:13 From there we sailed around and arrived at Rhegium, ( at the tip of the “boot” of Italy) and a day later a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. (just past Pomeii along the west coast of Italy)

Acts 28:14 There we found some brethren, and were invited to stay with them for seven days; and thus we came to Rome.

Paul has been attacked, been warned of persecution awaiting him upon returning to Jerusalem, warned by Spirit and people regarding chains and imprisonment …

and now, we have read of a disastrous sea voyage, shipwreck, viper bite, etc.

Is this what a christian would call “God opening a door to obey Him?” (sarcastic tone)

Is this how God rewards the faithful ?

Is this how God takes care of His children ?

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

maybe we need to reexamine our usage of the word bad ?
(our word bad is usually based upon the experience of removal of a creature comfort)

we are willing to reexamine the word “good” we also need to check “bad”

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