Summary: What would it have been like to be the Roman officer who sailed in close quarters with the Apostle Paul during the harrowing trip from Caesarea to Rome? How did God’s bond-slave, Paul, affect this man?
CENTURION JULIUS’ EXPERIENCE WITH PAUL
A. HUMOR: GETTING OLDER
1. Have you ever felt like everybody around you is getting older faster than you?
2. A woman was sitting in the waiting room for her first appointment with her new dentist. She noticed his diploma hanging on the wall and thought she recognized his name.
3. She remembered that a tall, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in her high school class many years ago. Could it be the same guy she had a big crush on back in the fifties?
4. Surely not! She quickly discarded the thought when she met the balding, grey-haired dentist. After he examined her teeth, she asked, “Did you happen to attend Morgan Park High School?”
5. He said, “Yes, I did!” She asked, “When did you graduate?” He replied, “In 1957.” She could not believe it.
She said to him, “You were in my class!”
6. “Really?” he asked. Then, looking at her closely, he added, “What class did you teach?”
27 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. 3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee….of Crete, …8 and came to a place called Fair Havens. 9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot…13 When a gentle south wind began to blow… they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and [was] driven along. 16…Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together….18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”… 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away. 33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 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.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some
food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board….42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. 28:1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand….6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but [saw] nothing unusual happen to him….7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured….11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship. 13 [Five days later] we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.