WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A TRUE STORY, VERIFIABLE IN ITS AUTHENTICITY. A STORY WHICH ALL TOO MANY SAILORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN USED TO FACE DURING THE THOUSANDS OF YEARS WHEN WIND POWER WAS THE PRIMARY MEANS OF PROPULSION ACROSS ITS VAST AND OFTEN DANGEROUS EXPANSE.
YAHUSHA’S STATED GOAL WAS THAT PAUL WOULD GO TO ROME AND SPEAK HIS TRUTH TO THE EMPEROR, AND NOT EVEN THE SEEMINGLY LIMITLESS AND UNTAMEABLE POWER OF THE OCEANS AND OUR ATMOSPHERE COULD DEFEAT YAHUSHA’S WILL IN THIS REGARD.
THIS OUGHT TO GIVE US GREAT COMFORT, FOR WE KNOW THAT OUR TIME TO DEPART THIS WORLD AND GO TO A NEW HEAVENLY EXPERIENCE WILL HAPPEN ONLY WHEN YAHUSHA DECIDES. NO DANGER AND NO FORCE... MAN-MADE, SPIRITUAL OR IN NATURE.... CAN DERAIL YAHUSHA’S PLAN FOR OUR LIVES AND FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM.
WHAT WE’LL READ IN ACTS 27-28 TODAY HAD MUCH TO DO WITH THE INSPIRING THOUGHTS THAT PAUL WROTE IN ROMANS AFTER HE’S SUCCESSFULLY MADE IT TO ROME, DESPITE ALL THE DANGER AND TRIBULATION HE FACED ALONG THE WAY:
"FOR I’M CONVINCED THAT NEITHER DEATH OR LIFE, ANGELS OR OTHER HEAVENLY RULERS, OR WHAT EXISTS OR WHAT’S COMING, NEITHER POWERS ABOVE OR POWERS BELOW, OR ANY OTHER CREATED THING WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF YAHUAH WHICH COMES TO US THROUGH MESSIAH YAHUSHA, OUR MASTER".
1So when it was decided that we would sail for Italy, an Army Officer named Julius, who served in the emperor’s special Army, was put in charge of guarding Paul and some other prisoners on the trip. 2We got on a ship from the city of Adramyttium that was ready to sail to different places in Asia. Aristarchus , a man from
Thessalonica in Macedonia went with us also.
3The next day we came to the city of Sidon. Julius was very good to Paul and gave him freedom to go visit his friends there, who gave him whatever he needed. 4We left that city and sailed close to the island of Cyprus because the wind was blowing against us. 5We went across the sea by Cilicia and Pamphylia. Then we came to the city of Myra in Lycia. 6There the Army Officer found a ship from the city of Alexandria that was going to Italy. So he put us on it.
6There the Army Officer found a ship from the city of Alexandria that was going to Italy. So he put us on it. 7We sailed slowly for many days. It was hard for us to reach the city of Cnidus because the wind was blowing against us. We could not go any farther that way, so we sailed by the south side of the island of Crete near Salmone. 8We sailed along the coast, but the sailing was hard.
3The next day we came to the city of Sidon. Julius was very good to Paul and gave him freedom to go visit his friends there, who gave him whatever he needed. 4We left that city and sailed close to the island of Cyprus because the wind was blowing against us. 5We went across the sea by Cilicia and Pamphylia. Then we came to the city of Myra in Lycia.
Then we came to a place called Safe Harbors, near the city of Lasea. 9We had lost much time, and it was now dangerous to sail, because it was already after the Jewish day of fasting (DAY OF ATONEMENT). So Paul warned them, 10“Men, I can see that there will be a lot of trouble on this trip. The ship, everything in it, and even our lives may be lost!” 11But the captain and the owner of the ship didn’t agree with Paul.
So the Army Officer accepted what they said instead of believing Paul. 12Also, that harbour was not a good place for the ship to stay for the winter, so most of the men decided that we should leave there. They hoped we could reach Phoenix, where the ship could stay for the winter. Phoenix was a city on the island of Crete. It had a harbour that faced southwest and northwest.
IN 2 CORINTHIANS 11 PAUL SAYS THAT HE WAS SHIPWRECKED 3 TIMES!
13Then a good wind began to blow from the south. The men on the ship thought, “This is the wind we wanted, and now we have it!” So they pulled up the anchor. We sailed very close to the island of Crete. 14But then a very strong wind called the “Northeaster” came from across the island. 15This wind took the ship and carried it away. The ship could not sail against the wind, so we stopped trying and let the wind blow us.
16We went below a small island named Clauda. With the island protecting us from the wind, we were able to bring in the lifeboat, but it was very hard to do. 17After the men brought the lifeboat in, they tied ropes around the ship to hold it together. The men were afraid that the ship would hit the sandbanks of Surtis. So they lowered the sail and let the wind carry us.
18The next day the storm was blowing against us so hard that the men threw some things out of the ship. 19A day later they threw out the ship’s equipment. 20For many days we could not see the sun or the stars. The storm was very bad. We lost all hope of staying alive—we thought we would die!
21The men did not eat for a long time. Then one day Paul stood up before them and said, “Men, I told you not to leave Crete. You should have listened to me. Then you would not have all this trouble and loss. 22But now I tell you to be happy. None of you will die, but the ship will be lost. 23Last night an Angel came to me from YAHUAH - the Alahim I serve and belong to. 24The Angel said, ‘Paul, don’t be afraid! You must stand before Caesar.
So YAHUSHA has given you this promise: He will deliver the lives of all those sailing with you.’ 25So men, there is nothing to worry about. I trust YAHUSHA, and I’m sure everything will happen just as His Angel told me. 26But we will crash on an island somewhere.”
27And on the fourteenth night we were still being blown around in the Adriatic Sea. The sailors thought we were close to land.
28They threw a rope into the water with a weight on the end of it. They found that the water was 120 feet deep. They went a little farther and threw the rope in again. It was 90 feet deep. 29The sailors were afraid that we would hit the rocks, so they threw four anchors into the water. Then they prayed for daylight to come. 30Some of the sailors wanted to leave the ship, and they lowered the lifeboat to the water.
They wanted the other men to think that they were throwing more anchors from the front of the ship. 31But Paul told the Army Officer and the other soldiers, “If these men do not stay in the ship, you will lose all hope of survival.” 32So the soldiers cut the ropes and let the lifeboat fall into the water.
33Just before dawn Paul began persuading all the people to eat something. He said, “For the past two weeks you have been waiting and watching. You have not eaten for 14 days. 34Now I beg you to eat something. You need it to stay alive. None of you will lose even one hair off your heads.” 35After he said this, Paul took some bread and thanked YAHUSHA for it before all of them. He broke off a piece and began eating. 36All the men felt better and started eating too. 37(There were 276 people on the ship.) 38We ate all we wanted. Then we began making the ship lighter by throwing the grain into the sea.
39When daylight came, the sailors saw land, but they did not know what land it was. They saw a bay with a beach and wanted to sail the ship to the beach if they could. 40So they cut the ropes to the anchors and left the anchors in the sea. At the same time, they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Then they raised the front sail into the wind and sailed toward the beach. 41But the ship hit a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck there and could not move. Then the big waves began to break the back of the ship to pieces.
42The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so that none of the prisoners could swim away and escape. 43But Julius the Army Officer wanted to let Paul live. So he did not allow the soldiers to kill the prisoners. He told the people who could swim to jump into the water and swim to land. 44The others used wooden boards or pieces of the ship. And this is how all the people went safely to land.
1When we were safe on land, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2The people who lived there were very good to us. It was raining and very cold, so they built a fire and welcomed all of us. 3Paul gathered a pile of sticks for the fire. He was putting the sticks on the fire, and a poisonous snake came out because of the heat and bit him on the hand. 4When the people living on the island saw the snake hanging from his
hand, they said, “This man must be a murderer! He did not die in the sea, but justice does not want him to live.”
He welcomed us into his home and was very good to us. We stayed in his house for three days. 8Publius’ father was very sick. He had a fever and dysentery, but Paul went to him and prayed for him. He laid his hands on the man and healed him. 9After this happened, all the other sick people on the island came to Paul, and he healed them too. 10-11The people on the island gave us much respect. And after we had been there three
5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and was not hurt. 6The people thought he would swell up or fall down dead. They waited and watched him for a long time, but nothing bad happened to him. So they changed their opinion. They said,
“He's a deity!”
7There were some fields around that same area. They were owned by a man named Publius, the most important Roman Official on the island.
months and were ready to leave, they provided us everything we needed for our trip. We got on a ship from Alexandria that had stayed on the island of Malta during the winter. On the front of the ship was the sign for the ‘twin brothers’. 12We stopped at the city of Syracuse. We stayed there three days and then left. 13We came to the city of Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the southwest, so we were able to leave.
A day later we came to the city of Puteoli. 14We found some believers there, who asked us to stay with them a week. Finally, we came to Rome. 15The brothers and sisters in Rome heard about us and came out to meet us at the Market of Appius and at the Three Inns. When Paul saw these believers, he thanked YAHUSHA and felt encouraged. 16When we came to Rome, Paul was allowed to live alone.
THERE WERE PERHAPS AS MANY AS 50,000 JEWS LIVING IN ROME AT THIS TIME, AND SO THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN MANY LEADERS. WE FIND THAT THE ROMAN JEWS DON’T HAVE A GREAT CONNECTION TO THE JEWS OF THE SET-APART LAND. IT MIGHT BE TOO STRONG TO CHARACTERISE IT AS AN US/THEM SORT OF RELATIONSHIP, BUT CLEARLY THE LONG DISTANCE BETWEEN JERUSALEM AND ROME, AND THE TOTALLY DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES REPRESENTED BY THE RESIDENTS OF EACH PLACE, CREATED A CHALLENGING BARRIER BETWEEN THE TOLERANT JEWS OF ROME VERSUS THE ZEALOUS JEWS OF JERUSALEM.
IT IS PROBABLY FAIR TO SAY THAT THE JEWS OF ROME HELD A SIMILAR DESIRE FOR A PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE WITH THE ROMANS AS DID THE SADDUCEES OF JERUSALEM. OF COURSE THERE WAS A PRICE TO PAY TO ATTAIN THAT GOAL OF PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE, AND THE PRICE WAS TO COMPROMISE THE JEWISH RELIGION WITH ROMAN PAGAN WAYS, AND TO ACCEPT AND SUPPORT ROMAN POLITICAL RULE AND HELLENISTIC LIFESTYLE.
THEREFORE THE JEWS OF ROME WERE A BIT CONCERNED ABOUT PAUL WHO ARRIVED IN CHAINS. WAS HE A REBELLIOUS TROUBLE MAKER? THEY HAD HEARD ABOUT ‘THE WAY’ AND THEY KNEW OF PAUL AS A SPOKESPERSON OF THIS MOVEMENT, AND NOW HE SHOWS UP AS A PRISONER. THEY HAD NO DESIRE TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH PAUL IF IT MIGHT DAMAGE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND THE ROMANS. PAUL WELL KNEW THIS AND SO WAS QUICK TO SAY THAT HE HAD DONE NOTHING AGAINST ROMAN LAW OR JEWISH LAW. IN FACT, HE SAYS THAT THE ROMANS HAD DECIDED TO RELEASE HIM BUT SOME JUDEAN JEWS OBJECTED AND THAT IS WHY HE APPEALED TO CAESAR AND HAS COME TO ROME AS A PRISONER.
So I had to ask to come to Rome to have my trial before Caesar. That doesn’t mean I am accusing my people of doing anything wrong. 20That is why I wanted to see you and talk with you. I am bound with this chain because I believe in the hope of our people.” 21The Jews answered Paul, “We have received no letters from Judea about you. None of our Jewish brothers who've traveled from there brought news or told us anything bad about you. 22So we want to
17Three days later Paul sent for some of the most important Jews. When they came together, he said, “My brothers, I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our fathers. But I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18They asked me many questions, but they could not find any reason why I should be put to death. So they wanted to let me go free. 19But the Jews there did not want that.
hear your ideas Paul, for we know that people everywhere are speaking out against this new sect.”
ready to leave. But Paul said one more thing to them: “The Set-Apart Spirit spoke the truth to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet. He said, 26‘Go to this people and tell them: You will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand. You will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see. 27Yes, the minds of these people are now closed. They have ears, but they don’t listen. They have eyes, but they refuse to see. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they might understand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed.’ 28“I want you Jews to know that YAHUSHA has sent His deliverance to the nations also now, for they will listen to Him!”
WHEN WE GO BACK TO THE BLOOD-COVENANT YAHUAH MADE WITH ABRAHAM AND SEE THE LEGAL BASIS FOR DELIVERANCE, WE LEARN THAT IT WAS ALWAYS YAHUAH’S INTENTION THAT ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WOULD BE BLESSED BY WHAT YAHUAH DID THROUGH ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANTS...THE HEBREWS. THIS WOULD AFFECT NOT JUST JEWS OR NOT JUST GENTILES. SO THE PURPOSE OF PAUL'S STATEMENT IS NOT TO SHOW A TRANSFER OF DELIVERANCE OR PREFERENCE FROM ONE RACE OF PEOPLE TO ANOTHER, BUT RATHER YAHUSHA SAID LONG AGO THAT HE WAS RAISING UP A NEW BLOOD-COVENANT AND WOULD SPREAD THE GOSPEL TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, AND THAT NECESSARILY INCLUDES ALL THE NATIONS.
29After Paul said this, the Jews left, still having a big argument with each other. 30Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house. He welcomed all the people who came and visited him. 31He told them about the MASTER YAHUSHA MESSIAH and His kingdom. He was very bold, and no one tried to stop him from speaking.
THE BOOK OF ACTS ENDS BY TELLING US THAT PAUL STAYED IN THE PLACE HE HAD RENTED FOR 2 YEARS. AND ALL DURING THAT TIME HE WAS GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF YAHUSHA AND TO TEACH ABOUT YAHUSHA. WHY PAUL WAS THERE FOR 2 YEARS WITHOUT HIS CASE BEING HEARD WE DON’T KNOW. YAHUSHA SAID PAUL WOULD STAND BEFORE CAESAR - BUT WE NEVER LEARN IF HE DID OR NOT. IN FACT WE REALLY DON’T KNOW IF PAUL EVER GOT OUT OF PRISON IN ROME. MANY SCHOLARS THINK HE DIED IN PRISON.
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK AS WE WILL SUMMARISE THIS BOOK OF ACTS AND EXPLORE HISTORICAL WRITINGS ABOUT THE INTENSE PERSECUTION AND DEATH OF YAHUSHA'S FOLLOWERS, RESULTING IN THE APARENT DEATH OF THE MOVEMENT FOR NEARLY 2000yrs.
23Paul and the Jews chose a day for a meeting. On that day many more of these Jews met with Paul at his house. He spoke to them all day long, explaining YAHUSHA’S kingdom to them. He used the Law of Moses and the Writings of the Prophets to persuade them to believe in YAHUSHA. 24Some of the Jews believed what he said, but others did not believe. 25They had an
argument among themselves and were