Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Acts 27 is a sea travel story par excellence. Paul’s dangerous journey from Judea to the distant edges of the empire is the main event in closing this 2 volume work as Christ sends His church on a dangerous mission to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel.
Most scholars note the prominence of travel reports in Luke–Acts. These volumes are peppered with travel accounts, yet there is nothing random in their use. Luke began with a travel account from Nazareth to Jerusalem and Luke highlights Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem where He will be rejected in a 10 chapter long travel chronicle (9:41–19:44).
Acts itself is organized around travel accounts reflective of Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Philip’s travel to Samaria (Acts 8); Peter’s journey to Caesarea to launch the Gospel to the Gentiles (10); and the travels of Paul to the Gentiles, and of course his journey to Jerusalem. All of these have been momentous.
This lengthy travel report of Paul and his team traveling to the ends of the world (Judea–Rome, the epicenter of the Gentile world) leading to Luke’s conclusion has a significant parting message for us. Acts 27 offers a peak into our own journey in the mission of Jesus. I believe the Holy Spirit through Luke, while sharing Paul’s final recorded journey, is inviting us along on the journey. We get to join Paul, Luke, Aristarchus, and the others on the journey. Acts 27 is Paul’s story, but Acts 27 is intended to become our story too.