Paul’s Amazing Voyage
This thrilling story surpasses the greatest literature ever written because it’s completely true. A mass murderer finds himself both redeemed and hunted. No matter how much good he does, his past haunts him. Yet, he’s fearless against impossible forces.
Saul, who would become Paul, is a monster ravaging the Church (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-2). His bloodthirsty mission sends him to Damascus, where Saul stands with bloody hands before the only one who can remove the stain on his soul (1 John 1:7).
Saul is brought to his senses and to salvation by the light on the road to Damascus and the arrival of Ananias (Acts 9:3-9; 22:16).
Saul becomes Paul and is soon a force for the gospel. Paul worked under the shadow of an appointment that could not be forsaken if he remained obedient to God. Paul had to share the gospel message before kings (Acts 9:15).
Just like so many legends of literature, Paul is falsely accused and faces death at the hands of a crazed mob (Acts 21:26-36). Saved by a Roman officer, Paul winds through the justice system, appearing before Felix, Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25-26).
Carrying out God’s plan, Paul, Luke and Aristarchus board a ship to Rome and a hearing before Caesar (Acts 27:1-2).
Luke’s lengthy recitation of Paul’s voyage to Rome was once criticized before advances in knowledge led to the begrudging realization that Luke had likely produced the greatest maritime document in the ancient world.
Little is known about ancient sailing and this story is a landmark in the field, even today. Luke’s reputation as a historian continues to soar as we learn more about the Mediterranean and the sailing methods of the day.
The exhilarating story captivates the imagination as we breathe the air, roll with the waves and feel the fear in their hearts. Facing an enormous storm that exceeded the abilities of human knowledge and skill, God saved them and continued his gospel plan (Acts 27:22-25).
Anyone who discounts this story fails to understand the gravity of the redemptive plan of God. Moreover, it makes clear the inadequacy of man and savage nature of God’s creation.
Only in God’s hands can we possibly survive the storms that rage in our lives every day. Let us cling to our Savior, so we can arrive safely on shore (Revelation 20:11-15).