Chapters twenty-seven and twenty-eight tell of Paul’s trip to Rome. Under lock and key along with other prisoners, Paul was grateful that Luke and Aristarchus were allowed to travel with him (Acts 27:1-8). The centurion even permitted him shore leave at various ports to see friends. They changed ships in Lycia and started for Rome, but the weather had started to turn against them.
Luke noted that the port was “NOT SUITABLE TO SPEND THE WINTER IN,” so the captain decided to take his chances on the open waters of the Mediterranean, against Paul’s warning (Acts 27:9-20). A “GENTLE SOUTH WIND” convinced the captain that he was right, and they took off. Unfortunately, a hurricane-type storm hit them and drove them toward North Africa, where they were afraid they would be grounded. After three days they had thrown everything overboard and were doing everything they could to keep the ship intact, though no one believed they would survive.
To encourage them, Paul recounted that an angel told him in the night that, although the ship would be lost, all lives would be saved (Acts 27:21-38). Nearly two weeks later the storm had taken them north to the Adriatic, between Greece and Italy. As they checked the depth, they discovered they were headed rapidly toward land. Some of the sailors tried to escape, but Paul stopped them. Again, Paul encouraged them to eat a little food, because they would survive. Each one ate enough to satisfy himself, and they tossed the rest into the sea. As dawn broke, they attempted to ground the ship onto the shore, but it got stuck on a sandbar and was beaten to pieces while the crew and passengers swam to land.