11 but the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what paul said. 12 and because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach phoenix, a harbor of crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.- [acts 27:11-12]


the experts aren’t always the experts


the centurion had a difficult decision to make.


first of all, it was late in the sailing season, when most ships were harboring for their own safety. however, this ship had a chance to make it to crete, a much better spot in which to spend a few months.


How would this decision be made?


the ship’s pilot and owner were experienced sailors, knowledgeable of the waters and entrusted with imperial obligations. it was their opinion that all was safe to continue.


paul was a prisoner who had earned the respect of many on board, including the centurion himself. paul was a brilliant man; an expert at the law and of his faith, but he was not a seasoned ship pilot.


the centurion, as a ranking roman official, had the final say and decided to take a poll based on the given information.


how would you have chosen?


the centurion did what many people would have done. he trusted the experts and gave the majority their vote. later in the account, we find that paul’s opinion was the correct one.


there are a couple of lessons here:


first, when we speak, we should always speak what we know to be true, even when it is likely that we will be outvoted, and even when truth contradicts those who should technically know better.


secondly, when we listen, we should consider what the word of God says even when it contradicts the experts. experts are human, and they can get it wrong sometimes. God’s word is never failing and never wrong.



~ jason soroski