Summary: When the storms of life come our way we need to lean upon Jesus to see us through them.
There's A Storm Brewing
Text: Acts 27:1-12
1. Illustration: A man stood on the side of the road hitch hiking on a very dark night in the middle of a storm. The night was rolling and no cars passed. The storm was so strong, he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car come towards him and stop. The guy, without thinking about it, got in the car and closed the door to realize that nobody was behind the wheel. The car started slowly. The guy looked at the road and saw a curve coming his way. Scared, he started praying, and begged for his life. He hadn't come out of shock, when just before he hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and moved the wheel. The guy, paralyzed in terror, watched how the hand appeared every time before a curve. The guy gathered strength, got out of the car and ran to the nearest town. Wet and in shock, he ran into a cantina and asked for two shots of tequila, and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he went through. A silence enveloped everybody when they realized the guy was crying and wasn't drunk.
About half an hour later, two guys walked into the same cantina, and one said to the other. "Look, that’s the character who climbed into the car while we were pushing!"
2. Here in Ohio we like to say, "If you don't like the weather, stick around a few minutes it will change." Well the same thing is true for the storms of life. We never know when they're going to come our way, but you can be assured that they will come.
3. However, the question is not will there be storms, but rather what will we do when they get here?
4. From this episode of the life of Paul we learn about...
A. Battling Bad Weather
B. Listening To Sound Advice
5. Let's stand together as we read Acts 27:1-12.
Proposition: When the storms of life come our way we need to lean upon Jesus to see us through them.
Transition: First, it's imperative that we know what to do when...
I. Battling Bad Weather (1-8).
A. The Winds Were Against Us
1. Paul's trial before Festus and Agrippa is now over and he is on his way to Rome.
2. This chapter begins with, "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. 2 Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was also with us. We left on a ship whose home port was Adramyttium on the northwest coast of the province of Asia; it was scheduled to make several stops at ports along the coast of the province."
A. This account of Paul's journey to Rome gives us one of the most interesting and factual accounts of a sea voyage and a shipwreck to be found anywhere in ancient literature.
B. This narrative is clearly eyewitness history; the details of the voyage, including the number of days it took to reach particular harbors given the winds mentioned, fit exactly the report of one who had undertaken such a voyage.
C. The “other prisoners” may have been sent for trial as Roman citizens, but a higher number of those sent normally were convicted criminals to be killed in the games for the entertainment of the Roman public
(Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament, Under: "Acts 27:1-8 The Voyage to Rome Begins").
D. Luke uses "we" throughout the passage, so it is clear he was an eyewitness.
E. He may have been in Caesarea during the two intervening years and collected valuable information for his two-volume work (Fernando, NIV Application Commentary, The – Acts, 610).
F. For the trip from Caesarea to Italy, Paul and other prisoners were turned over to a centurion named Julius "who belonged to the Imperial Regiment," or "Augustan cohort" (v. 1, NASB).
G. They first took passage on a ship belonging to Adramyttium, a port of Mysia, southeast of Troas. It was headed up the coast of Asia Minor.
H. Luke took passage on this ship to be with Paul. So did Aristarchus, a Macedonian believer from Thessalonica.
I. They went along to help him and serve him in every way they could. Thus, Paul did not travel as an ordinary prisoner. He had friends (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary, 393).
3. Luke's next commentary on their journey begins in v. 3 with, "The next day when we docked at Sidon, Julius was very kind to Paul and let him go ashore to visit with friends so they could provide for his needs. 4 Putting out to sea from there, we encountered strong headwinds that made it difficult to keep the ship on course, so we sailed north of Cyprus between the island and the mainland. 5 Keeping to the open sea, we passed along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, landing at Myra, in the province of Lycia."