Summary of Acts 27-44:
After two weeks adrift, the men wanted to abandon ship and head to the lifeboats, but Paul told the centurion they would die if they did so. So they stayed with the ship (finally, they listened to Paul!). Then Paul urged them to eat, and he gave thanks to God for the bread that was multiplied miraculously. They were all encouraged. After eating, they threw the grain overboard to lighten the ship.
The next day, they saw land and decided to run the ship aground. The ship struck a sandbar before making the beach, so the soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners so they wouldn’t escape when they swam. But the centurion wanted to save Paul’s life so no one was killed. Everyone reached land safely by swimming or floating on pieces of the ship.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 27, Day 3: Acts 27:27-44
6) Paul told the centurion they would die if they abandoned the ship and went to the lifeboats. So they stayed with the ship (finally, they listened to Paul!). Then Paul urged them to eat, and he gave thanks to God for the bread that was multiplied miraculously. They were all encouraged.
7) God kept his word and saved everyone on board by having Paul predict a plan that wouldn’t work and by God implementing his own shipwreck plan that got everyone to land safely.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: That God has got it, and I shouldn’t worry. Prayer is the answer.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 27, Day 3: Acts 27:27-44
Storms in our lives grow up, shape us, and mold us. It’s how we respond that matters.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 27, Day 3: Acts 27:27-44
The threat of shipwreck and death made them men of prayer.
The sailors didn’t care for the passengers. Seeing a chance to save their own lives in the darkness, they hoped to abandon the ship leaving the passengers.
Paul knew two reasons why they had to stay together. First, the ship’s passengers desperately needed the crew’s expertise, and it would be fatal if the crew abandoned the passengers. Second, Paul probably sensed that God’s promise to give him the lives of the whole ship’s company assumed that they would stay together.
There are hints that Paul regarded this meal as communion at the Lord’s Table for the Christians present.
Throwing out the wheat into the sea reflected their great desperation. This was the last of the essential cargo of the ship, after they had already lightened the ship (Acts 27:18). This was a struggle for survival. after all, if you’re throwing your food overboard, you are expecting to die.
They came to an island called Malta. The place where the ship came aground is now called St. Paul’s Bay.
“If they missed Malta, there would have been nothing for it but to hold on for 200 miles until they struck the Tunisian coast, and no one could have expected the ship to survive that long.” (Bruce)
As the ship was stuck fast on shore, the still-stormy sea pounded the weakened vessel and started breaking it apart. All on board had to jump ship or be broken up with it.
To the soldiers, it made sense to kill the prisoners, because according to Roman military law a guard who allowed his prisoner to escape was subject to the same penalty the escaped prisoner would have suffered – in the case of most of these prisoners, death.
God gave Paul favor in the eyes of this Roman centurion, and that favor kept Paul and all the prisoners alive – in fulfillment of the word spoken to Paul, God has granted you all those who sail with you (Acts 27:24).