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Lesson 13 - Journey to Rome

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Overall Question: What good came out of Paul's journey to Rome?

Memory Text: Acts 27:24 New Century Version The angel said, ‘Paul, do not be afraid. You must stand before Caesar. And God has promised you that he will save the lives of everyone sailing with you.’


Sunday – Sailing to Rome

Acts 27:9-12 New Living Translation 9 We had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. 10 “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” 11 But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul. 12 And since Fair Havens was an exposed harbor—a poor place to spend the winter—most of the crew wanted to go on to Phoenix, farther up the coast of Crete, and spend the winter there. Phoenix was a good harbor with only a southwest and northwest exposure.

Acts 27:9 PEOPLE’S NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY sailing was now dangerous. On account of the season of year. In the winter, not only the storms, but the clouds and darkness, interfered with navigation. Mariners, in the absence of the compass, needed the sun and stars to direct their course.

Acts 27:9 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Winter was approaching. Navigation on the Mediterranean was attempted only in favorable weather.. It was now probably the latter part of October, and severe storms were to be expected.

Acts 27:9 COMMENTARY THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL 9-12. The voyage, thus far, had been so tedious that winter was approaching, and it was deemed unsafe to attempt to complete it before spring. It became a question, however, whether they would spend the winter where they were, or seek a more desirable winter haven.

Acts 27:21-26 New English Translation 21 Since many of them had no desire to eat, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete, thus avoiding this damage and loss. 22 And now I advise you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar, and God has graciously granted you the safety of all who are sailing with you.’ 25 Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be just as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”


Monday – The Shipwreck

Acts 27:30-44 Easy-to-Read Version 30 Some 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. 31 But 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.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes and let the lifeboat fall into the water. 33 Just 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. 34 Now I beg you to eat something. You need it to stay alive. None of you will lose even one hair off your heads.” 35 After he said this, Paul took some bread and thanked God for it before all of them. He broke off a piece and began eating. 36 All the men felt better and started eating too. 37 (There were 276 people on the ship.) 38 We ate all we wanted. Then we began making the ship lighter by throwing the grain into the sea. 39 When 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. 40 So 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. 41 But 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. 42 The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so that none of the prisoners could swim away and escape. 43 But 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. 44 The others used wooden boards or pieces of the ship. And this is how all the people went safely to land.

Acts 27 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY – Part of an article by Lieut. Edwin Smith, a minister of the Avondale Presbyterian church of Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, who served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean in 1918 and 1919. In the Homiletic Review for August, 1919 (Vol. LXXVIII, No. 2, pp. 101–110), Lieutenant Smith explained the shipwreck narrative of Acts 27, in terms of his experience and observations as a naval officer on duty in the Mediterranean. Paul opposed moving the ship to a better harbor. “Paul had been in this ship some weeks already; they had had a hard beat to windward in working down to Crete, and in those weeks Paul had made some observations and indulged in some reflections. He noticed, for example, that the ship was leaking considerably, and when the squalls blew hardest, he also noticed that, she strained and worked in a manner far from reassuring…. The ship was caught in a typhonic gale which blew with such force that they could not face it and were compelled to run before it. We know that it blew them out of their course toward the island of Clauda about twenty-three miles W.S.W. from Crete…St. Luke tells us that they frapped her [used ropes to undergird her] after she had gone only twenty-five miles—a sure indication that she was straining and leaking badly. It would not be difficult to multiply instances where this mode of strengthening ships has been put in practice in comparatively modern times, but in every instance it has been where the ship was old and weak, or, in consequence of having sustained some damage…. I wish to point out here, what nearly all the commentators have failed to recognize, which is, however, of the utmost importance, viz., that the real danger before the ship in which Luke and Paul sailed was the danger of foundering in mid-ocean owing to the leaky condition of the ship, and that if they had not providentially made the land, and been thereby enabled to save their lives by running the ship ashore, she must have foundered at sea, and all on board perished.”


Tuesday – In Malta

Acts 28:1-10 Contemporary English Version When we came ashore, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The local people were very friendly, and they welcomed us by building a fire, because it was rainy and cold. 3 After Paul had gathered some wood and had put it on the fire, the heat caused a snake to crawl out, and it bit him on the hand. 4 When the local people saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He didn’t drown in the sea, but the goddess of justice will kill him anyway.” 5 Paul shook the snake off into the fire and wasn’t harmed. 6 The people kept thinking that Paul would either swell up or suddenly drop dead. They watched him for a long time, and when nothing happened to him, they changed their minds and said, “This man is a god.” 7 The governor of the island was named Publius, and he owned some of the land around there. Publius was very friendly and welcomed us into his home for three days. 8 His father was in bed, sick with fever and stomach trouble, and Paul went to visit him. Paul healed the man by praying and placing his hands on him. 9 After this happened, everyone on the island brought their sick people to Paul, and they were all healed. 10 The people were very respectful to us, and when we sailed, they gave us everything we needed.

Acts 28:8 PEOPLE’S NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY Dysentery was the disease. Paul, by prayer and laying on of hands, healed him. This miracle naturally was followed by others, and it is not strange that Paul was honored, and that the people "laded them with all things necessary" for their further voyage.

Romans 1:18-20 Common English Bible 18 God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodly behavior and the injustice of human beings who silence the truth with injustice. 19 This is because what is known about God should be plain to them because God made it plain to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—God’s eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through the things God has made. So humans are without excuse.


Wednesday – Paul in Rome, Finally

Acts 28:17-22 God’s Word Translation 17 After three days Paul invited the most influential Jews in Rome to meet with him. When they assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, I haven’t done anything against the Jewish people or violated the customs handed down by our ancestors. Yet, I’m a prisoner from Jerusalem, and I’ve been handed over to the Roman authorities. 18 The Roman authorities cross-examined me and wanted to let me go because I was accused of nothing for which I deserved to die. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal my case to the emperor. That doesn’t mean I have any charges to bring against my own people. 20 That’s why I asked to see you and speak with you. I’m wearing these chains because of what Israel hopes for.” 21 The Jewish leaders told Paul, “We haven’t received any letters from Judea about you, and no Jewish person who has come to Rome has reported or mentioned anything bad about you. 22 However, we would like to hear what you think. We know that everywhere people are talking against this sect.”

Acts 28:22 New Living Translation But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.”


Thursday – The Victory of the Gospel

Acts 28:24-31 New International Reader’s Version 24 Some believed what he said, and others did not. 25 They didn’t agree with one another. They began to leave after Paul had made a final statement. He said, “The Holy Spirit was right when he spoke to your people long ago. Through Isaiah the prophet the Spirit said, 26 “ ‘Go to your people. Say to them, “You will hear but never understand. You will see but never know what you are seeing.” 27 These people’s hearts have become stubborn. They can barely hear with their ears. They have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes. They might hear with their ears. They might understand with their hearts. They might turn, and then I would heal them.’ (Isaiah 6:9,10) 28-29 “Here is what I want you to know. God has sent his salvation to the Gentiles. And they will listen!” 30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in a house he rented. He welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He preached boldly about God’s kingdom. He taught people about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one could keep him from teaching and preaching about these things.


Friday – Further Thought

Romans 1:14-15 New Life Version 14 I must help the people who have had a chance to hear the Good News and those who have not. I must help those with much learning and those who have never learned from books. 15 So I want to preach the Good News to you who live in Rome also.

Romans 1:14 COMMENTARY FAMILY BIBLE NOTES Greeks and Barbarians--wise and unwise; polished and rude, learned and ignorant. When Christ imparts to any one the blessings of his grace, it lays him under peculiar obligations to do good as he has opportunity; especially to promote the spiritual good of all his fellow-men.

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