Acts 27-28
(You Shall Be Saved)
November 23rd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

"Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”

- Acts 27:34 (NIV)

Summary of Chapters

In the final two chapters of Acts Luke records Paul’s treacherous journey to Rome by sea and his arrival in Rome. The journey included travel on three different ships, one of which became ship-wrecked on the island of Malta.

Chapter 27 describes the journey on the first two ships. Paul had warned the crew of the second ship not to set sail from Fair Haven, but they did not listen to him. One day after the ship was caught in a storm Paul assured the crew that they would all be saved. On the fourteenth day he encouraged them all to eat, and in the following morning they hit bottom and each man worked his way towards shore.

Chapter 28 begins with Paul and his companions and the crew on Malta, where they are well tended for by the natives. They eventually boarded a third ship and arrived in Rome where Paul awaited his trial while under house arrest. In the meantime, he testified to the people there, as the Lord had commanded.

Paul quoted verses from Isaiah warning that people would not see or hear and therefore the message is being brought to the Gentiles:

    “‘Go to this people and say,
    'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
    For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
    and turn, and I would heal them.’”

    - Acts 28:26-27 (Isaiah 6:9-10) - NIV

The final two verses of Acts records that Paul remained in Rome for two years, where “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 28:31 - NIV).”

Reflection and Application

The names of islands and other points of land may not be familiar for those of us not accustomed to sailing the Mediterranean. Therefore, we have provided a link below to a map of the area showing Paul's journey:

"Paul's Voyage to Rome (Gracepoint Devotions)

Maps help to orient us when we are in unfamiliar territory. How do we navigate our lives without a map? We can turn to experts in particular fields or those who have access to experts. In our story today, Paul is an example of a man with access to the ultimate Expert. After listening to God, he provided recommendations to those around him. Those who chose to ignore Paul’s advice did so at their own peril.

For instance, despite Paul’s warning, the sailors on the ship decided to sail during the worst part of the year (late October or November) and did not heed his advice when he suggested remaining in Fair Haven (which sounds like a nice place to stay!). Then, when Paul landed in Rome and began to preach, many of the Jews stopped listening to him, just as Isaiah had prophesized, so he turned his attention to the Gentiles. The sailors got a second chance when Paul assured them that they would all be saved, and the stubborn Jews of Rome could have had a second chance too if they had decided to listen.

We have Paul’s words in the book of Acts and in his many letters that are recorded in the following books. He provides a map for building our relationship with the Savior. Are we going to listen or choose to ignore him like the sailors and the Roman Jews, or shall we open our hearts and minds and ears?

The ending of the book of Acts may seem anti-climatic. We may have been waiting to see what happened with regard to Paul’s audience with Caesar. Instead, Luke leaves us hanging, just like the screenwriter in a movie that ends the script with many questions unanswered. From reading this book we don’t know if Paul met with Caesar, and if so, what happened. But that question is actually secondary, or even lower in importance.

We read in an earlier chapter that God sent Paul to Rome to testify there as he did in Jerusalem (23:11). Whether he met with the Emperor or not was not the main objective. Instead, Luke makes clear that Paul did testify, “Boldly and without hindrance (28:31).” Moreover, Paul was fulfilling the command from Jesus to be witnesses to the end of the earth ("But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:9 - NIV)." From the perspective of the first century people living in the Roman Empire, Rome was the end of the world. Sometimes God may send us somewhere, and we think we know why, but we have to be open to the real purpose of our journey, and be prepared to testify boldly and without hindrance about his Amazing Grace.

The author of the song Amazing Grace, John Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807), was a sailor and former slave trader who could probably relate to the life of Paul and the story of his ship-wrecked journey. Consider Newton’s appreciation for being saved as you listen to LeeAnn Rime’s performance of Amazing Grace in the video below:

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is the worst storm in which you have ever travelled?
    2. What warnings have you ignored only to find out that the siren was right?
    3. Where is God sending you to testify today?

    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know you send us warnings ahead of storms. Help us to listen.

    Prayer Concern


    The statute in the photograph at the top of the page was created by the Circle of Clause de Werve in the Netherlands during the 15th Century. Note the book he is holding, which is symbolic of the letters he wrote which are now in the New Testament and the sword which is a symbol of his martyrdom. This statue is currently on exhibit at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The photograph is by the Sanborn Family Photographers.

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Overview of Romans and Study of Romans 1-3 (Greetings Fellow Sinners)

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