When the time came, we set sail for Italy. Paul and several other prisoners were placed in the custody of a Roman officer named Julius, a captain of the Imperial Regiment.
- So begins Paul's last journey to his fate in Rome. It has been almost thirty years since the crucifixion of Jesus and Paul's life-changing encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. He has already suffered much for the Good News of Christ, and there is more to come, culminating in his execution in Rome. In the few years he has left he will dictate his letters to the churches that now form such an important part of our New Testament bible.
This website includes a map of Paul's long and adventure-filled voyage to Rome:
Acts 27:17 (NLT)
... they lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship and were driven before the wind.
- A sea anchor is a sort of bucket that acts as a drag chute in the water. It is streamed on a line from the stern to stabilize the ship against strong winds and large waves.
Acts 27:21 (NLT)
...Paul called the crew together and said, "Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss.
- This line makes me smile. Though Paul was a great man of God, his social instincts may have been lacking. Did the men really appreciate his "I told you so" lecture at this point? I doubt it.
Acts 27:24-25 (NLT)
... What's more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.'
Acts 27:26 (NLT)
But we will be shipwrecked on an island."
- This reads like the first recorded "good news - bad news" joke.
Acts 27:44 (NLT)
The others held onto planks or debris from the broken ship. So everyone escaped safely to shore.
- Phew! What an adventure. This is certainly one of the more exciting parts of the New Testament.