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Acts 27:13

Act 27:13 – (NIV) – “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.”


Note 29: “. . . a gentle wind . . .”

As we saw in verses 11 and 12, the owner, the pilot (captain), the centurion and the “majority” had decided they would sail on to a better (safer) harbor despite a warnings from Paul. After making this decision, there was a change in the weather and the direction of the wind for the better. It was at this point they all thought they had exactly what they needed to travel the short 34 mile route to the Port of Phoenix also located on Crete.

Note 30: A Personal Note

This comment is not related to the text, but it is my observation from my life and some lessons I have learned during my life. The worst problems any of us will face during our life will come after we think we have achieved what we long for and we relax our guard. I’ll say it another way “when things are going really good, a gentle breeze is blowing and you think to yourself I am right where I want to be” …about that time….BOOM!

It has been my experience in life that when things really start going good, I should get ready because the bottom is about to fall out. One of my daughter’s favorite sayings from our senior minister, Brother Gary Bradley, is that all of us on this earth are either, (1) just coming out of a trial, (2) right in the middle of a trial, or (3) on the verge of a trial. My advice then is to get prepared for the worst because it will come and often more than once. Expect it at anytime – no, expect it all the time – and be prepared. That way, when bad things do arise, you will not be surprised and you can handle them, survive and stay afloat.

There is a quote from Adlai Stevenson, which I have changed slightly over the years to read as follows:

On the verge of sweet success, lie the blackened bones of countless millions, who at the dawn of victory stopped to rest, and in resting were overtaken and died.”

Then there is a quote from my high school football coach, during two-a-day practices:

Work hard today, make yourself ready today because one Friday night in your future it will be too late to get ready, but you’ll be in the fight of your life.”  Get Ready!

-John

Note 31: “They” vs. “We”

This is an interesting point in Luke’s narrative because he introduces a new word and a new concept to the story. The new word is “they” and it appears to introduce the “us vs. them” concept into the text. Paul gave his warning to everyone, yet the “majority” decided to pull up and go to the next port anyway. Prior to this point in the text, Luke has referred to the passengers by either their specific name (like Julius or Aristarchus) or by positions (the owner, the pilot). Up to this point, he has used the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘us’ several times, but in this verse he uses the word ‘they’ and he does so four times in rapid sequence:

“. . . they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed.”

We know that Paul disagreed with the decision to pull anchor and sail on.  After reading this verse, I am pretty sure that Luke disagreed as well, and he suddenly no longer seems to be just dispassionate casual observer.  He seems to make a clear demarcation between himself and “they”.  Personally, after reading Luke’s shift in the way he refers to the other people on the ship, I believe that he is providing us with his deep seeded opinion of whether they should have set sailed toward Phoenix. To test my theory, notice the fourth ‘they’ in particular. Here Luke could have used the pronoun ‘we’ as so it might read ‘we weighed anchor and sailed’.  The actions he is describing here does involve the ship and everyone on board. Yet he uses the phrase  ‘they weighed anchor and sailed’.  I believe this may be one point where he actually enters the story with an opinion by his choice of words.

It is quite normal in survivor accounts from other shipwrecks, to see an eyewitness clearly point to a specific person, action, or event as either the cause or the turning point of the disaster they were involved in. It appears to me, that Luke is being quite clear, though certainly not obvious, and is making it a point to establish THEY did this.

Well, that’s my 2¢ worth, remember it’s not Gospel

Now, as I have already stated, given the available information, I believe I would have made the same decision as the owner, the crew, the captain, the centurion and yes, even the majority.

Note 32: “. . . they weighed anchor. . .”

Again, Luke uses a very interesting choice of terms here. He said they “weighed anchor”. This is a good translation of the Greek words used in the text to describe exactly what they did. They pull up the anchor and left. While this may seem like a small or unimportant detail, it is a continuation of Luke’s style of using correct and accurate terminology and it gives Luke’s narrative more creditability to a shipwreck hunter.

Note 33: “. . . and sailed along the shore of Crete.”

The ship was to sail very close to the southern shore of Crete. This was a common practice since they did not have far to sail.  Sailing close to shore should also help protect the ship from weather during this season. Again, Luke’s mention of this detail, small though it may be, enhances Luke’s credibility and provides us with a record of his skill at recording very accurate observations about what is going on during this voyage.

So they are on their way to a good place to spend the winter.  Things will be fine, after all they do have what they wanted with the gentle breeze and there’s no reason to worry, right?

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