Read thru New Testament Devotional – July 27, 2017

July 27

 

Acts 27:1-25

Paul is now sent to Italy (capital of the Roman Empire) for trial.  He is under the guard of a Roman centurion (a commander of 100 Roman soldiers) named Julius...who treats him well and allows his friends to visit with him.  Paul is accompanied by Aristarchus.  There are a total of 276 people on the ship (:37).

 

Who is Aristarchus?

Aristarchus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Aristarchus: of Thessalonica. Paul's companion on his third missionary tour, and dragged into the theater with Gains by the mob at Ephesus; he accompanied Paul to Asia, afterward to Rome (Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2). Paul calls him "my fellow prisoner" (lit. fellow captive, namely, in the Christian warfare), "my fellow laborer," in his epistles from Rome (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24). Epaphras similarly (Philemon 1:23; Colossians 1:7) is called "my fellow prisoner," "our fellow servant." Paul's two friends possibly shared his imprisonment by turns, Aristarchus being his fellow prisoner when he wrote to the Colossians, Epaphras when he wrote to Philemon. Bishop of Apamaea, according to tradition.

(http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=43&sub=1071&cat_name=Bible+Names+A-G&subcat_name=Aristarchus)

 

They left from Sidon on a ship from Adramyttium (a port on the west coast of Asia Minor, just south of Troas, which is located in modern Turkey,) and sailed north of Cyprus to Myra in Lycia (:5).  They then sailed to Crete.

 

For a map of Paul’s journey to Rome see:

(http://carm.org/christianity/bible-maps/pauls-journey-rome)

 

Against Paul's warning, they decided to set sail...but a storm caught them and they were blown out to sea for 14 days (:27) and thought they would die.

 

Ryrie: 27:14 Euraquilo A hybrid word, half Greek, half Latin, meaning north-east and standing for a treacherous east-northeast wind.

 

Ryrie: 27:9 the fast was already over. Only one fast was prescribed by the law and that was on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-34).  If this was the year 59, the fast was on Oct. 5.  This means Paul left Caesarea in August or September and did not arrive in Rome until the following March.

 

In order to keep the ship from sinking in the storm…they began to lighten it by throwing everything that was heavy overboard…first the cargo (:18), then the ship’s tackle (:19), finally even the food (:38).  An angel of the Lord spoke to Paul and told him that they would not die, they would only lose the ship (:25).

Prayer: Lord, there are times when we would give up hope and perhaps take matters into our own hands.  But please help me to listen to You and find out what You would have me to do.  Paul heard from You, even in the midst of the storm, and as a result both he and all on board the ship were saved...and it was a testimony to You.  And Lord, please help me to be an “Aristarchus” to someone.  A companion, co-worker, and supporter.  We know almost nothing about him…and yet, as we read between the lines…this man must have played a significant role in the life of Paul.  Help me to make someone’s life better by being their trusted and constant friend.

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