Coachlight Bible Study - Acts Chapter 26-27

The Gospel Goes To Rome

It was determined by the counsel of God, before it was determined by the counsel of Festus, that Paul should go to Rome.  Paul's ministry  is marked by many things, but one item always seems to be there higher than the rest - leadership.

Paul’s leadership emerges on the ship when he was headed toward Rome. As time went on, as Paul was better known, and as the crises on board the ship became more pronounced, Paul stepped forward, giving both direction and hope to all the others on ship. Paul does all this without any formal leadership position or authority. He was not the captain of the ship, or one of the soldiers. He was not a sailor; in fact, he was not even a paying passenger. Paul was a prisoner, on his way to stand trial before Caesar in Rome.

At the Island of Malta, what happens makes Paul a leader, once again,  among the passengers. Just as Paul had gained prominence on board the ship, now he would become prominent in the eyes of those who lived on this island. The sequence of events  which led to this prominence is outlined for us by Luke in the first 10 verses of Acts chapter 28. Then, in the next verses (11-15), Luke will describe how Paul and the rest of those on board that ill-fated ship reached Rome safely.

Finally, in the closing words of this great book (verses 16-31), Luke will tell of Paul’s meeting with the Jewish leaders in Rome, of the outcome of this meeting, and of Paul’s ministry in Rome for the next two full years.

What was it about Paul that made him a leader among men, even in matters pertaining to sailing and storms? What kind of leadership did Paul exercise, and how did this advance the gospel? What is the relationship between “spiritual leadership” and “secular leadership”? What can we learn about leadership, which can benefit others, and can promote the gospel?



I. Paul Sails Toward Rome - Acts 27:1-3

A. Luke with Paul - the term "we" - Verse 1

B. Paul and other prisoners placed in the custody

1. Of Julius

2. Centurion of Augustus’s band

C.. Went on board a ship of Adramyttium - Verse 2

1. A sea-port of Africa

2. Syria - a good market for African goods

3. Mean to sail by coasts of Asia

D. Aristarchus, voluntary companion with them

1. A Macedonian

2. He was Paul's companion being caught in the ampitheatre

Acts 19:29  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

3. He traveled with Paul to Macedonia and returned with him to Asia

Acts 20:4  And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

4. He was Paul's fellow-prisoner in Rome

Colossians 4:10  Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas,

5. He was Paul's fellow-labourer

Colossians 4:10  Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas

E. They came to a port on Sidon - Verse 3

1. Julius was very courteous to Paul

2. Gave him liberty

3. Allowed him to visit with his friends

II. The Sailing Become Dangerous  - Acts 27:4-9

F. They set sail from Cyprus - Verse 4

1. The west wind was too violent to go direct

2. They had approached Cyprus from the north

3. Would have liked to head directly for Asia

4. Had to sail around the island to north

G.Sailed to Myra, a city of Lycia. - Verse 5

1. South-western part of Asia Minor

a. Phrygia and Pisidia on the north

b. Pamphylia on the east

c. Mediterranean on the south

2. Changed Ships - Verse 6

a. Ship from Alexandria, Egypt

b. Had a cargo of wheat

c. Ship sailing to Italy

3. Sailed slowly - Verse 7

a. Over against Cnidus.

1. A city standing on a promontory of the same name in Asia Minor

2. Located in the the province of Cans called Doris

3. North-west of the island of Rhodes.

b. Made it to The Fair Havens - Verse 8

1. A port city

2. On the east of the island of Crete

c. Sailing was now dangerous - Verse 9

1. Been detained because they had to fight the wind

2. Now sailing at the most dangerous time of the year

d. Now the fast was past - September 20

1. Jews fast on the Great Day of Atonement

2. Autumnul equinox - dangerous sailing

III. Paul Admonishes The Crew - Verse 10

A. This voyage is a hazard to the ship's cargo

B. This voyage is a hazard to our lives

C. Paul had experience in these matters

II Corinthians 11:25  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

II Corinthians 11:26  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

IV. The Sailing Becomes Much More Dangerous - Acts 27:11-20

A. Centurion did not believe Paul - Verse 11

B. Centurion believed the owner of the ship

C. Wanted to sail to Phenice

1. A safer port of Crete - Verse 12

2. To the south west of the island

3. Northwest -

5566 cwrov choros kho’-ros

of Latin origin; ; n m

AV-north west 1; 1

1) the northwest wind

2) for the quarter of the heavens from which the wind blows

D. Encouraged by a softly blowing south wind - they set sail - Verse 13

E.  A wind called Euroclydon came soon - as they sailed close by Crete - Verse 14

 The name Euroclydon is derived probably from two Greek words, eurov, (eurov) wind, and kludwn, (kludo)a wave; so called from its agitating and exciting the waves. - like a hurricane

F. Had to let the ship run with the wind - Verse 15

1. They could not direct the ship in the wind

2. They let it run with wind - not trying to control it

G. Made it to near Clauda - Verse 16

1. Small island south west of Crete

2. They were almost not able to secure the boat

3. Undergirdling the ship - Verse 17

Undergirding the ship - From Barnes NT Notes

The ancients were accustomed to pass cables or strong ropes from one side of the ship to another, to keep the planks from springing or starting by the action of the sea. The rope was slipped under the prow, and passed along to any part of the keel which they pleased, and made fast on the deck...An instance of the same kind is mentioned in Lord Anson’s voyage round the world. Speaking of a Spanish man-of-war in a storm, he says, "They were obliged to throw overboard all their upper-deck guns, and take six turns of the cable round the ship, to prevent her opening."

4. They were afraid of being driven on a bank of sand- Verse 18


There were two celebrated quicksands on the coast of Africa, called the greater and lesser. They were vast beds of sand driven up by the sea, and constantly shifting their position, so that they could not know certainly where the danger was, and guard against it. As they were constantly changing their position, they could not be accurately laid down in a chart.


5. Threw some of the cargo out of the ship

6. On the third day - Verse 19

a. Threw out the tackling - the anchor, sails, cables, baggage, etc.

b. Everything that was not absolutly necessary

7. All hope is gone - Verse 20

a. They did not see the sun or stars for many days to navigate

b. They were bobarded by a tempestuous storm

V. Paul Speaks Again After Not Eating For Many Days- Acts 27:21-26

A. You should have listened to me in the first place - Verse 21

B. You should not have taken off from Crete

C. Be of good cheer - no one will be killed - Verse 22

1. I saw an angel of the Lord tonight - Verse 23

a. I am the Lord's

b. I serve the Lord

2. The angel told me - Verse 24

a. Fear not Paul

b. You must go to Rome

c. All that are with me will go with me

3. I believe God - It will happen just like the angel said - Verse 25

4. We will be cast upon an island - Verse 26

VI. After 14 Days Close to Land - Acts 27:27-30

A. They were tossed in Adria - Verse 27

In the Adriatic Sea.  This sea is properly situated between Italy and Dalmatia, now called the Adriatic Gulf. But, among the ancients, the name was given not only to that gulf, but to the whole sea lying between Greece, Italy, and Africa, including the Sicilian and Ionian Sea.  It is evident, from the narrative, that they were not in the Adriatic Gulf, but somewhere in the vicinity of Malta.

B. The shipman thought they were near land

C. They sounded and it was 20 fathoms - Verse 28

1. "sounded" - is uing line and lead for deepth

2. A fathom is about 6'

3. It was about 120' deep

D. After a little more sounded again

1. 15 fathoms

2. 90' deep

E. Afraid of running into rocks - Verse 29

1. Cast out 4 anchors

2. wished for daylight to see how close they were to land

F. Shipman about to leave the ship - Verse 30

1. Let down the lifeboat

2. Under pretence -

They pretended that it was necessary to get into the boat, and carry the anchors ahead of the ship so as to make it secure, but with a real intention to make for the shore.

VII. Paul Speaks To The Centurion and the Soldiers Again - Acts 27:31-38

A. Everyone must stay in the ship - or they won't make it

B. The soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat - Verse 32

C. Everyone better break your fast - Verse 33

1.  It's been 14 days since you ate - Verse 34

2. It's for your health

D. Paul takes bread in front of them all - Verse 35

1. He gave thanks

2. Paul began to eat

3. Everyone ate happily - Verse 36

4. There were 276 people on board - Verse 37

5. After the meal they threw the wheat into the sea - Verse 38

VIII. All Made It Safe To Malta- Acts 27:39-28:1

A. They did not see the land

1. Directed the ship into a bay they saw - Verse 39

2. Took up the anchors - Verse 40

3. Cut loose the anchors

4. Let the sterring mechanism go

5. Lifted the mainsail to the wind

B. Ran the ship aground

1. The forward part of the ship dug into shore - Verse 41

2. The back part broke apart with the waves

C. Soldiers want to kill the prisoners - no escapes - Verse 42

D. The centurion wanted to save Paul - Verse 43

1. Kept the soldiers from killing the prisoners

2. Commanded them to swim to shore

E. They all made it to land - Verse 44

1. Some on boards

2. Some on small pieces of ship

3. The Island was called Malta - Chaper 28:1

IX. Paul On The Island of Malta - Acts 28:2-28:6

A. The Barbarians (island) people showed kindness - Verse 2

1. Language of Maltese was African

a. Greeks called everyone that didn't speak Greek barbarians

b. Their language not understood by Romans or Greeks

2. They built a fire

3. Made them welcome

a. It was cold

b. It was raining

B. Paul Snake Bit - Verse 3

1. Paul got some firewood

2. Threw the wood on the fire

a. A snake jumped out of the fire

b. Bit and stayed on Paul's hand

C. The islanders saw the snake hung to Paul's hand - Verse 4

1. No doubt this man is a murderer

2. He has escaped the sea

3. Vengence will cause him to die - (justice)

1349 dikh dike dee’-kay

probably from 1166; TDNT-2:178,168; n f

AV-vengeance 2, judgment 1, punish + 5099 1; 4

1) custom, usage

2) right, just

3) a suit at law

4) a judicial hearing, judicial decision, esp. sentence of condemnation

5) execution of a sentence, punishment

5a) to suffer punishment

6) the goddess Justice, avenging justice

D. Paul's response

1. He shook off the snake

2. Felt no harm - Verse 5

Mark 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

E. Islander's response - Verse 6

1. They saw

a. He should have swollen up

b. He should have died by now

2. They think he is a god

X. Father of the Chief Man of the Island is Healed - Acts 28:7-10

A. Publeus - Chief man of the Island - Verse 7

1. Welcomed them

2. Lodged them 3 days courteously

B. Publeus' Dad is sick

1. Sick of a fever

2. Bloody flux - Dysentery

C. Paul Prays for Publeus' Dad - Verse 8

1. Layed hands on him

2. He was healed

D. Others came and were healed - Verse 9

1. They honored Paul and company

2. Gave them provisons when they left - Verse 10

XI. They Leave Malta- Acts 28:11-28:15

A. After three months - Verse 11

1. They left in an Alexandrian ship

a. It had wintered in the isle

b. Had castor and pollux on the bow

It was common to place on the prow of the ship the image Of some person, or god, whose name the ship bore. This custom is still observed.

Castor and Pollux. These were two semi-deities. They were reputed to be twin brothers, sons of Jupiter and Leda, the wife of Tyndarus, king of Sparta. After their death, they are fabled to have been translated to heaven, and made constellations under the name of gemini, or the twins. They then received divine honours, and were called the sons of Jupiter. They were supposed to preside over sailors, and to be their protectors; hence it was not uncommon to place their image on ships.

2. Landed at Syracuse  (capital of the island of Sicily) for 3 days - Verse 12

B. They find a compass - Verse 13

1. They went to Rhegium

2. South wind blew after one day

3. Sailed to Puteoli - Verse 14

a. Found brethern

b. Stayed seven days

c. Brethern heard they were there - Verse 15

d. Came to see them from as far as Appiforum and the Three Taverns

4. Paul was contented

a. Thanked God

b. Took courage

C. They made it to Rome

XII. Paul's Witness In Rome - Acts 28:15-28:29

A. Centurion delivered the prisoners - Verse 16

1. All but Paul to the Captain of the guard

2. Paul kept by himself with a soldier guard

3. Paul calls together the chief of the Jews in three days

B. Paul's speech to the Jews - Verse 17

1. I have comitted nothing

a. Against the people

b. Against our customs

c. Against our fathers

2. I have been taken from Jerusalem as prisoner of the Romans - Verse 18

3. The Romans found no cause for the death penalty

4. The Jews wouldn't have it

5. I was best off apealing to Ceaser

6. I am not going to accuse the Jews of anything

7. It is for the hope of Isreal I am bound with this chain - Verse 20

C. The Jews reply to Paul - Verse 21

1. We did not receive any letters from Judea concerning you

2. Nobody came by and spoke harm of you

3. We want to hear what you think - Verse 22

4. Everybody is speaking against the Christians

D. Paul is given a day to testify

1. People came to Paul's place of residence

2. Paul taught the kingdom of God - Verse 23

a. Expounded

1620 ektiyhmi ektithemi ek-tith’-ay-mee

from 1537 and 5087; ; v

AV-expound 3, cast out 1; 4

1) to place or set out, put outside, expose

2) to set up, exhibit

3) metaph. to set forth, declare, expound


b. Testified

1263 diamarturomai diamarturomai dee-am-ar-too’-rom-ahee

from 1223 and 3140; TDNT-4:510,564; v

AV-testify 11, charge 3, witness 1; 15

1) to testify

1a) earnestly, religiously to charge

2) to attest, testify to, solemnly affirm

2a) to give solemn testimony to one

2b) to confirm a thing by testimony, to testify, cause it to be believed

c. Persuading

3982 peiyw peitho pi’-tho

a primary verb; TDNT-6:1,818; v

AV-persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3, be confident 2, misc 7; 55

1) persuade

1a) to persuade, i.e. to induce one by words to believe

1b) to make friends of, to win one’s favour, gain one’s good will, or to seek to win one, strive to please one

1c) to tranquillise

1d) to persuade unto i.e. move or induce one to persuasion to do something

2) be persuaded

2a) to be persuaded, to suffer one’s self to be persuaded; to be induced to believe: to have faith: in a thing

2a1) to believe

2a2) to be persuaded of a thing concerning a person

2b) to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with

3) to trust, have confidence, be confident

E. Inducing them to believe by words from morning till evening

1. From the Law of Moses

Genesis 49:10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

2. From the Prophets

Deuteronomy 18:18  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

F. Some believed and some did not - Verse 24

G. Paul Spoke from Isaiah 6:9-10


Isaiah 6:9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Isaiah 6:10  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.


Acts 28:26  Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

Acts 28:27  For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Acts28  Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

H. The Jews response - Verse 29

1. Departed

2. Had great reasoning amoung themselves

XIII. Paul Witnesses For Two More Years- Acts 28:30-31

A. Paul welcomed to his house all that came

B. Paul preached - Verse 30

2784 khrussw kerusso kay-roos’-so

of uncertain affinity; TDNT-3:697,430; v

AV-preach 51, publish 5, proclaim 2, preached + 2258 2, preacher 1; 61

1) to be a herald, to officiate as a herald

1a) to proclaim after the manner of a herald

1b) always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed

2) to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done

3) used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers

1. Kingdom of God - Verse 31

2. Things which concern Jesus Christ

C. Preached with all confidence

D. No man stopping him








Points On Leadership In Acts 27-28

Paul Did Not Seek The Status Of Being A Leader

Paul Was Trying To Be Help

Paul Did Not Have The Formal Position Of Leadership

Paul Was Leader Because People Followed Him

Paul’s Leadership Came In A Time Of Crisis

No One Else Had Any Answers

Paul’s Leadership  Was Not The Result Of Political Maneuverings

Paul’s Leadership  Came When People Saw His Personal Competence

Paul’s Leadership Promoted The Gospel

Who Would Want To Hear The Gospel From A Non Leader

Paul’s Leadership Was The Result Of Paul Hearing From God

Everyone Else Wanted To Do What Was Normal

Paul’s Leadership  Was The Result Of God’s Revelation Using Paul’s Personal Experience

Others Had Only Secular Secular Leadership

Paul’s Leadership  Was The Result Of Praying For The Sick

Paul’s Leadership  Was The Result Of Miracles Performed

Paul’s Leadership Was The Result Of Preaching The Kingdom Of God


Paul’s Leadership Was The Result Of Teaching Christ In The Old Testament




















Conclusion Of The Book Of Acts

The concluding words of the Book of Acts are about the fate of the nation Israel. In the first chapters of the Book of Luke, Jesus was introduced as the promised Savior who came to save His people, Israel, as well as to be a blessing to the Gentiles. But, as the gospel of Luke reveals, “His people” did not receive Him, but rejected Him. This was especially true of the Jewish leaders, and generally true of many other Israelites. There were those, of course, who did believe in Him.

As the Book of Acts begins, the Lord is described as departing from this earth, commissioning His apostles to carry on the work  which He began. But once again, the Jews reject the gospel as proclaimed by the apostles, in spite of the evidences of God’s power at work through them. As Jesus was killed, so were Stephen and many others. Graciously, Saul was converted, from a persecutor of Christianity, to a teacher of Christ.

The Book of Acts is a description of the expansion of the gospel, from Jerusalem to the “uttermost part of the earth,” and from primarily Jewish listeners to many Gentiles as well. But as the gospel went forth from Jerusalem, the Jews persistently rejected the good news, and persecuted those who proclaimed the gospel. Now, at Rome, the majority of the Jews there reject the word of the Gospel. The Jews have heard, and most have rejected the truth that Jesus was the Messiah, who came to the earth, took on human flesh, was rejected, crucified, and raised from the dead. Now, after nearly 40 years of grace, the time of God’s judgment draws nigh. The Book of Acts ends, not with the salvation of Israel, and with the establishment of the kingdom, but with the rejection of Israel, and with the ever nearing time of Israel’s captivity and suffering. There is, in this sense, a deep sense of sorrow as the Book of Acts draws to a close.

While Israel’s days are numbered, we also find the Book of Acts hardly ending at all, but rather it seems to be only a beginning. If the gospel  has been rejected by the Jews, it is still being proclaimed and believed by the Gentiles. We who are Gentiles, who live some twenty centuries after the ending of Acts, find that what Jesus continued to do through the apostles, He is still doing today. If the Book of Acts ends one chapter in the history of Israel, it begins a whole new chapter in the history of the church. If the Lord Jesus was at work in and through the apostles in Acts, He is still at work in and through His church to this very day.

It does not appear to be long before “the times of the Gentiles” will come to a close, and the Tribulation time for the Lord to bring Israel back to Himself, and the return of the Lord Jesus with His saints for the marriage supper of the Lamb and to establish His kingdom forever.  Are we going to be ready for the Bridegroom when He Returns?