Chapter Twenty-Seven — Part One: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 04/30/2023Foundation Scriptures:
1. The Voyage Begins.
a. This whole chapter is taken up with the account of Paul’s voyage towards Rome and Caesar, as a prisoner.
b. Acts 27:1 NKJV — And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.
c. A centurion named Julius was charged with transporting Paul and some other prisoners to Rome.
d. Augustan band—the Imperial cohort—taking its name from the emperor.
e. It was a title of honor—for valor—which used to be given to certain legions, cohorts, or battalions.
f. Apparently, Julius became a close friend of Paul through the miraculous events of their journey.
g. Acts 27:2 NKJV — So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.
h. There are several places with the same name—Adramyttium—and this one was most likely a city in Mysia on the Aegean Sea.
i. Aristarchus, together with Luke, accompanied Paul to Rome (he is mentioned in Acts 19:29; 20:4; Col. 4:10; Phm. 1:24).
2. The Route.
a. This was the route (involving twelve cities/ports) that they traveled:
b. Caesarea, Samaria (Acts 27:1)
c. Sidon, Phoenicia (Acts 27:3)
d. Island of Cyprus (Acts 27:4)
e. Myra, Lycia, Asia Minor (Acts 27:5)
f. Salmone, Island of Crete (Acts 27:7)
g. Fair Havens, Lasea, Crete (Acts 27:8-44)
h. Melita (Malta), So. of Italy (Acts 28:1)
i. Syracuse, Sicily (Acts 28:12)
j. Rhegium, Italy (Acts 28:13)
k. Puteoli, Italy (Acts 28:13)
l. Appii Forum, Italy (Acts 28:15)
m. Rome, Italy (Acts 28:16-31)
3. Sidon to Myra.
a. Acts 27:3 AMPC — The following day we landed at Sidon, and Julius treated Paul in a loving way, with much consideration (kindness and care), permitting him to go to his friends [there] and be refreshed and be cared for.
b. Julius very kindly allowed Paul the freedom to go and stay with his friends there, and be taken care of by them, until they sailed out again.
c. He trusted Paul to be honorable and return to the ship at the appointed time, and Paul did not disappoint him.
d. Paul was a prisoner and in an unfortunate position, yet Julius treated him with respect, and not merely pity.
e. Like Joseph before him, Paul had earned the respect of his captors.
f. Acts 27:4 NKJV — When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
g. They could not sail directly to where they were headed, because the winds were contrary.
h. Instead of passing Cyprus on the right-hand side, they had to pass to the leeward (south side) of Cyprus for protection.
i. Acts 27:5 AMPC — And when we had sailed over [the whole length] of sea which lies off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.
4. Changing Ships.
a. Acts 27:6 NKJV — There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
b. The ships they sailed on were mainly trading ships, who accepted passengers, as they traveled from port to port with their goods.
c. Acts 27:7 AMPC — For a number of days we made slow progress and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus; then, as the wind did not permit us to proceed, we went under the lee (shelter) of Crete off Salmone,
d. Again, they were hindered by the wind, passing by Salmone, a promontory on the eastern shore of the island of Crete.
e. Acts 27:8 AMPC — And coasting along it with difficulty, we arrived at a place called Fair Havens, near which is located the town of Lasea.
f. They were very much hindered by the weather, and though it was not stormy, it was a tedious journey.
5. Danger Ahead.
a. Acts 27:9 AMPC — But as [the season was well advanced, for] much time had been lost and navigation was already dangerous, for the time for the Fast [the Day of Atonement, about the beginning of October] had already gone by…
b. This was the 10th day of the 7th month, the day of atonement, around October 1.
c. Acts 27:9a-10 NKJV — Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”
d. This time of the year the Mediterranean was very tempestuous—stormy and unpredictable.
e. Paul perceived, or discerned, what was about to transpire—not so much with his eyes or his experience, but by the Spirit.
f. Acts 27:11 NKJV — Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.
g. The centurion, not being familiar with divine directions, chose to trust the opinions and experience of the sailors.
h. Many people show respect towards a minister, or a man of God, but will not take their advice.
i. Acts 27:12 AMPC — And as the harbor was not well situated and so unsuitable to winter in, the majority favored the plan of putting to sea again from there, hoping somehow to reach Phoenice, a harbor of Crete facing southwest and northwest, and winter there.
j. Wisdom is not necessarily found in the voice or opinions of the majority.
k. Even though Fair Haven was not a suitable winter port, sailing out of there now was an even more dangerous proposition, even though they did not know it yet.