PAUL’S FOURTH MISSIONARY JOURNEY
In this lesson we will be covering Paul’s fourth journey. His fourth journey was from Jerusalem to Rome. He made this journey as a prisoner.
Between the third missionary journey and the journey to Rome, Paul is in Jerusalem and Caesarea.
The Book of Acts devotes six chapters to this troubled prelude to Paul’s journey to Italy, and another two chapters to the journey itself.
We ended up last week with Paul returning to Jerusalem in the late spring of 58 A.D. A riot is soon started by people who claim Paul has defiled Judaism with his teaching about christianity. Paul is led away to be scourged, but when it is revealed he is a Roman citizen, the scourging is immediately canceled
The next day, he is brought before the Sanhedrin to be judged, but this accomplished very little That night after his hearing, Paul had a vision of Jesus, standing next to him, assuring him he will make it to Rome
Paul is soon escorted out of the city by 200 Roman soldiers who take him as a Roman prisoner to Antipatris and then to Caesarea, where his case can be heard.
After spending roughly two years in Caesarea’s prison, Paul requests, in 60 A.D., that Roman governor Festus send him to Rome to have the case against him heard by Caesar. Festus obliges Paul and soon a Roman soldier named Julius is charged with taking him to the empire’s capital.
Julius befriends Paul and allows him certain liberties, such as seeing friends in Sidon
The first part of Paul’s journey to Rome is somewhat uneventful.
From they set sail and soon arrive at Sidon.
1. From Sidon, the ship hugs the coast near Antioch and the Roman provinces of Cilicia and Pamphylia before arriving in Myra
2. After boarding another ship in Myra, the trip begins to take a turn for the worse. The ship leaves Myra with 276 people aboard Since strong winds forbid the vessel from sailing west directly toward Italy, it sails south toward the Island of Crete
3. After a difficult journey, the ship anchors at the Cretan city of Fair Although Paul warns Julius not to sail “The Mediterranean” during this dangerous time of the year (September to October), the Centurion disregards his advice and has the ship set sail for the western part of the island and the harbor of Phoenix
Paul’s ship never makes it to Phoenix. Strong winds and a stormy sea out of the north and northeast blow the vessel away from Crete.
Unable to control the ship, she is allowed to go wherever the wind takes her
4. It is only after wandering the sea aimlessly for two weeks that the ship finally runs aground near the Island of Malta All those on the ship arrive safely on Malta, fulfilling God’s promise that no life would be lost
Paul stays three months on Malta where he is treated kindly by the natives. In his short stay on the island, he miraculously survives a bite from a poisonous viper, heals the father of the island’s governor, and then heals the diseases of those on the island
5. Paul then boards a ship wintering at the island and sets sail to on the coast of Sicilia. Then he sails to Rhegium on the tip of Italy
6. Paul eventually arrives at the Italian port city of where he stays for one week and is permitted to visit fellow christians
7. Paul is taken from Puteoli to Rome. Although Paul is a prisoner, he is allowed in Rome to live by himself, guarded only by a Roman soldier He is able to receive visitors and continues to preach the Gospel The Book of Acts comes to a close, informing us that Paul remains in Rome for two years, evangelizing about Jesus Christ
The Acts of the Apostles does not tell anymore about Paul, nor about the other Apostles. Luke does not even focus our attention on Paul’s life in this concluding chapter. We would expect to know the outcome of Paul’s trial, and whether he was set free or condemned to death. We find, Luke is not nearly as interested in reporting about the disasters and dark side of life as he is in proclaiming the good news of the gospel.
Paul knew he was about to die in an execution for the crime of practicing an outlawed faith. Not long before Paul was killed, he wrote a letter to Timothy. He was not discouraged, but rejoiced, because he had worked faithfully for God. He said, “I am now ready to be offered”.
In Timothy Paul says, “I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness.” He said a crown of righteousness was waiting for him and not only for him, but for everyone who loves the Lord and desires to see Him.
In Timothy Paul requests that “Timothy, please come as soon as you can”. Paul writes, “Do your best to get here before winter”.
Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark, who had traveled with Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary trip almost 20 years earlier.
The Bible never says if Timothy made the 1,000 mile trip or if he reached Paul in time.
Early church writers said, the Romans beheaded Paul. Paul’s beheading in Rome probably came after Emperor Nero, in A.D. 64, blamed christians for setting fire to the city.
Other interesting facts on Apostle Paul:
(1) Paul wrote: I & II Thesselonians — A.D. 51
I & II Corinthians — 55 A.D.
Galatians — 53 A.D.
Romans — 57 A.D.
(2) Paul wrote the Book of Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians, while under house arrest in Rome, about 60-62 A.D.
(3) Paul wrote the Book of I Timothy and Titus after release from prison in 63 A.D.
(4) Paul wrote II Timothy while in prison again in Rome in 67 A.D.
(5) I Timothy, II Timothy and Titus are called the Pastoral letters.
These are short trilogy letters in a tight pack on advice on how to pastor a church.
Paul teaches us many things about being a christian and how to live every day.