Paul Sails for Rome
Bible passage: 1 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 Cyprus because the winds were against us.
5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.
7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.
8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. 9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. 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 and of the owner of the ship.
12 Since the harbour was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbour in Crete, facing both south-west and north-west.
13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the North-Easter, swept down from the island.
15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure.
17 When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sand-bars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 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 the men 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 whose I am 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.
27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was one hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.
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 fall 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. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
39 When daylight came, they did not recognise the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sand-bar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
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. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety. (Malta)
QUIZ based on Acts 27
Younger children… What is the name of the main person in the story? (Paul)
Older children… What was his previous name? (Saul)
Younger children… Did they travel by car, ship or ferry? (Ship)
Older children… What was the name of the soldier in charge? (Julius)
Younger children… How was the centurion kind to Paul when they landed at Sidon? (Let him visit his friends for food and clothes)
Older children… They landed at Myra (in Turkey). What happened next? (The centurion found a ship going to Italy)
Younger children… The wind blew hard and the ship struggled along but eventually landed at a town in Crete called “Fair” what? (Havens)
Older children… Paul said them that he had been given a message from God. What was the warning? (Do not continue or disaster will strike)
Younger children… Did the centurion listen to Paul or to the ship’s captain and owner? (Captain and owner)
Older children… When the storm came, the sailors lowered the anchor then threw something overboard. What did they throw? (Cargo, ship’s tackle… also later on, the food supplies)
Younger children… Some of the men wanted to jump into the lifeboat. What did Paul say to them? (Stay on the ship if you want to be saved)
Older children… Why was Paul so sure they would be saved? (An angel has brought the message to him from God)
Younger children… True or False: Paul told them all to have some food? (True)
Older children… What was the last thing they threw overboard? (Food/grain)
Younger children… The ship began to sink. What did the soldiers want to do with the prisoners… and what did the centurion do? (Soldiers wanted to kill them; the centurion stopped them)
Older children… Why did the centurion stop them? (He wanted to save Paul)
Younger children… True or false: They were all saved? (True)
Older children… How many were saved? (276)
Q10 (Any child) Why did God save Paul’s life? (NOTE: Give credit for any sensible answer)