When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. Acts 27:1-2
Even though this seems like two mundate verses in an otherwise exciting chapter, if we wanted, we could dig a little deeper and ask a few questions along the way. For instance,
- Why is this centurian named?
- Why was it important to know he was from the Imperial Regiment?
- Why is it important to know where this ship was from?
- Why was a Greek named Aristarchus important enough for Paul to mention?
If you dug a little further we might be able to answer those questions…or maybe not. Is it so important for us to know all of these details? It certainly paints a fuller scene than we would otherwise get.
More importantly, though, we get to glimpse a little more into God’s character as He tells us about normally nameless people doing mundane jobs. They had no idea their names would be forever written in a book that billions would read. They just happened to be in a place where one of God’s “main” characters was on display for the world to see.
Explore the text further. Why was Adramyttium mentioned? Who was Aristarchus? What else do we know about Julius?