Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Remember Jonah?: A Great Nugget from Acts 27

Earlier this year we studied the the book of Jonah. This afternoon while preparing for tonight's Bible study, I came across the following paragraph in Dr. John Polhill's commentary on Acts regarding Paul's shipwreck at the end of Acts.
The story of Paul's stormy voyage is reminiscent of the voyage of Jonah. The prophet also encountered a violent storm at sea. Jonah's crew also jettisoned the cargo and began to despair of life. And the crew and passengers of Jonah's ship were ultimately delivered. There is, of course, a major difference between the two. It was Jonah's presence on the ship that gave rise to the storm, and only in his absence were the others saved. It was altogether different for Paul's ship. The apostle's presence on the ship led to the deliverance of all aboard. (522)
The story itself is one of salvation as Luke uses the Greek word for "save" at key moments of the story. The crew and all those on board were in desperate need of deliverance. It is a fitting picture of the spiritual state of the unredeemed. Unable to deliver ourselves, we need salvation.

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