When Paul was on the ship on the way to Rome in Acts 27 he had to sail through rough waters to say the least. Being packed in with 275 passengers on one boat that had no plumbing facilities, facing a “Northeaster”and having very little food to survive on would be extreme enough, but one grave danger still lay ahead in the journey.
Just before reaching the shore the soldiers decided it was best (for them) to kill the prisoners instead of taking any chance that they might escape after hitting the beach. Kill the prisoners? But that would include Paul!!! That’s right. What would Paul do? The truth is, Paul couldn’t do anything but what he had already done in the past with his influence. Since boarding that boat Paul managed to get in the “good graces” of the centurion who was in charge.
In the beginning of the chapter Paul warned the crew not to sail, but the centurion listened to the those who were more concerned with meeting a dead line and making a buck or two instead of listening to this warning of grave danger. Who can hardly blame him though. This wouldn’t have been the first time this centurion would have heard some kind of plea! But toward the end of the chapter things changed dramatically. Before it was all said and done, Paul had gained more than a guard in charge of his chains – he gained a body-guard personally bent on protecting him!
Who says the way we live, worship, talk and care for others doesn’t have an effect? It sure had one on a gruff and tough soldier, and it still can today. I don’t know if Julius the centurion ever became a Christian, but I bet he never forgot about the one that he was in charge of on that boat!
Remember that your influence can put you in the “good graces” of others, and hopefully lead them to the most wonder grace ever imagined – Jesus!
“And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose,…” (Acts 27:42-43 – NKJV)