Acts 27:32

Guv’s office. Wyoming Capitol.

Sunday, 19 May 2024

Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off. Acts 27:32

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, scrolling with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

In the previous verse, Paul told the centurion and the sailors that if the crew were to get away on the skiff, the ship and those on it were not able to be saved. Therefore, heeding his advice, Luke records, “Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff.”

The action here shows that they immediately accepted Paul’s words. The skiff had probably already been completely lowered, but the sailors weren’t yet on it. Luke records no arguments, no conversations, and no dispute by any party.

It is as if the centurion nodded his head and the soldiers simply cut away the skiff in a moment. This shows clearly that the centurion trusted Paul’s faith in the message he had received from the angel enough to act as was needed.

Again, it is very similar to what occurred with Jonah. The skiff could have been useful later. It was contrary to sound reason to simply cut it away. Likewise, it was contrary to sound reason to dump a person overboard in hopes of calming a storm. But in both cases, those who were faced with a decision made it according to the word they had heard.

In this verse, two words are used for the last time. The first is schoinion. It signifies a cord or rope. Its only other use was in John 2:15 –

“When He had made a whip of cords [schoinion], He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.”

The other word is skaphé, the skiff. All three of its uses were in this chapter. Once the ropes were cut, it says, “and let it fall off.” More precisely, “and let her fall away.” Like a ship, the skiff is a feminine noun. Her ropes were cut, and she fell away from the boat, proceeding on by herself.

Life application: The words of this verse are not unlike our own walk with the Lord. We are asked to do something which seems beyond reason, meaning to trust in the death of a Man from two thousand years ago in order to save us.

We have been told that He died in fulfillment of a law that we have never been under, but in doing so, He met the righteous requirements of God. From there, and proving that He did so, He rose again. It is otherwise incredible to consider, but this is what faith is, and this is what we are rewarded for. God looks for faith in His faithless creatures, so a little bit will do.

In receiving Jesus, we are cutting away our own source of attempts at personal salvation, and we are trusting in God’s provision alone. The soldiers had a choice. They could attempt to save themselves on a ship without someone to properly guide it – a picture of works-based salvation – or they could trust the word they had heard and do what seemed otherwise contrary to reason.

Be wise in how you proceed! Trust God’s word by trusting in Jesus. He can and He will deliver you on that day. Let us thank God for Jesus and praise His name forever and ever.

Heavenly Father, we know that we will be found worthy to stand before You, not on our own merits, but on the merits of Christ Jesus who alone has fulfilled Your law. May we rest in Him, trust in Him, and be delivered by Him on that day. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.