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Acts 27 v 1 - 20

A very dramatic passage where Luke describes the voyage to Rome and the ship being wrecked by storms on the way there. I have attached a map of Paul's journey. This may well have been his last one: there are different scholarly opinions over whether he was martyred in Rome or went on to spent a period in Spain before he died. Once again, Luke writes of the kindness of Roman officers: Julius treated Paul with kindness and consideration. Note that Luke accompanied Paul, as did Aristarchus. It has been suggested that, as Luke was permitted to go with Paul as his physician, the only way Aristarchus would have been able to go was as Paul's slave! Loyalty could go no further than that! It was a difficult voyage right from the start. They managed to get to Myra and then found a larger ship-it would have been full of corn-heading from Alexandria in Egypt to Rome. It was a long journey for a ship in those days when navigation was primitive and boats got by by hugging the coast. Eventually, they got to Fair Havens, but it was past the 'Fast', that is the Jewish Day of Atonement, so would now be late October. Sailing would have been considered dubious in September and impossible in November. There was no means then to navigate without the sun. Paul gave his advice and he was listened to, but the owner of the ship and the Roman centurion decided to continue: a big mistake. Imagine being on a ship when all is darkness, the wind is raging and you have no idea where you are! The sailors had a great fear that they would be blown on to the Syrtis Sands, just off North Africa, which have proved a graveyard for many ships. They bound the ship to try to prevent it from breaking apart, but everyone apart from Paul had abandoned all hope. Paul believed the words of God to him, that he would stand as a witness to Him in Rome.


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