More than two years prior to this chapter Jesus promised Paul that he would testify of Christ in Rome (23:11). Now Paul was on his way with a few other Christians (vv. 1-2) leaving Caesarea for Sidon in a coastal vessel (vv. 2-4). There they boarded a large ship taking grain cargo that was traveling from Alexandria, Egypt to their destination, Rome (vv. 5-6) these ships were owned by the Roman empire).
After some difficulty they stopped in Fair Havens on the island of Crete (vv. 7-8). At this point it was early to mid-October, a treacherous time to travel by ship. Despite Paul’s warning (vv. 9-10) the soldiers decided to follow the advice of the ship’s pilot and owner (v. 11-12). Though they at first enjoyed smooth sailing (v. 14) a strong wind eventually pushed them far off course and they drifted hopelessly (vv. 15-20).
The Lord encouraged both Paul and those traveling with him, promising that all would arrive in Rome (vv. 21-26). Despite the skilled efforts of the sailors, there were several potential mishaps the Lord protected them from (vv. 27-38). Though the ship was wrecked on an island, all survived (vv. 39-44).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Nothing keeps Jesus from fulfilling his promises. Jesus made definite promises to Paul, yet neither Pharisees, nor politicians, nor sailors and soldiers looking out for themselves, nor howling storms could keep Jesus from fulfilling his promises. Indeed, God works through such to do his will!
- Christians must persevere through trials or difficulties. Don’t lose faith or throw your hands up in disgust! Keep faithfully serving Christ, living and laboring for eternal rewards.