Acts 27 – Paul as the Better Jonah

As a ruling elder in a Presbyterian Church (Faith Reformed Church in Erie, PA), I get to preach a sermon about once a year.  Today was my lucky day, so I preached on Acts 27.  This was my third sermon ever, which is something of a milestone.  Now my complete sermons will no longer fit on two sides of a cassette tape. 🙂

In this passage, Paul is travelling by sea from Judea toward Rome.  There is a great storm, and the ship is wrecked, but Paul and everyone aboard are saved.  (If you don’t know the rest of the story, go read it.)  As I was preparing this, I noticed how much of a contrast there was between the faithful Paul and the unfaithful Jonah.  To mention just a few contrasts:

 1) Jonah chooses to go on the ship, but is fleeing God.  Paul is put on the ship as a prisoner, but is obeying God.

2)  Jonah is a useless passenger. He sleeps on the ship, when everyone else is calling on their gods for help.  he doesn’t do anything until he is prodded.  Paul helps the crew, and is praying for the ship.

3)  God endangers the ship because of Jonah.  God saves everyone on the ship for Paul’s sake.

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4 thoughts on “Acts 27 – Paul as the Better Jonah

  1. Actually, you would have to report me to the local Session. Since the other elder would have to preach twice as much, and also would become Clerk of Session, if I got in trouble, he is inclined to resolve matters in a non-nuclear fashion.

    There is a lesson here for broader ecclesiastical conflicts, I imagine.

  2. Note that with our pastor on sabbatical for the summer, having to preach more is a real threat, too.

    However, the pulpit is filled by actual ministers for all but one remaining Sunday this summer.

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