Day 26 - Acts 20: 1 - 27 - 40 Days in the book of Acts

Acts 20: 1 - 27

20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

Paul realizes that his presence is a danger to the church.  He takes the time to encourage them and then heads for Macedonia.  He takes the time to revisit some of the churches he started from his previous missionary journey, then winters in Greece.  Probably in Corinth.  He discovers a plot to have him killed on the way to Syria via ship.  So Paul returns by land through Macedonia.  7 men apparently went on the ship ahead of Paul.  They had offerings for the poor in Jerusalem.  These men probably represented churches that had received these offerings.  Their responsibility was to deliver these offerings and see that they were used properly.  Everybody, Luke too, are now in Troas.  

7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

After the Sabbath Paul some of the disciples came over to the house Paul us at and shared dinner together followed by communion.  Because he was departing the next day, Paul teached until midnight.  A young man named Eutychus had fell asleep in an open third floor window, fell out and died.  Luke, the physician would have been able to confirm this.  Paul immediately goes to the young man and throws his arms around him.  Obviously Paul would be praying and then declares that he is going to be ok.  After all of this excitement, he goes back up stairs, has something to eat, teaches until daybreak and goes on this way.  Needless to say, everyone was very excited about the resurrection of Eutychus

13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

Luke and company had gone ahead of Paul and sailed to Assos.  Paul had told them that he would meet them there.  He arrives at Assos and then they sailed to Mitylene.  They work their way around the coast for the purpose of being in Jerusalem by Pentecost.  Paul knew that there would be a large number of people there and the offerings that they had would be very helpful in ministering to the masses.  

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:  “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Paul calls for the elders of Ephesus to come and meet with him.  He reminds them how he had come to them in all humility. (He didn't put on any pretense that he was better than them.)  He lived through the plots against him and he never let that danger keep him from preaching and teaching the Gospel.  

22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 

Paul then tells these elders that the Holy Spirit is leading him to Jerusalem.  In each city that he goes to again and again the Holy Spirit (probably through the spirit of prophecy) is telling him that he will be imprisoned in chains.  He doesn't mind.  If he dies, that's ok.  He cares that he has done everything that God wants him to do before he goes.  It is obvious, he expects to die in Jerusalem.  

25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

He then tells the elders that they will never see him again.  That he is innocent of the blood of those who needed to hear the Gospel.  Another way of putting it is that he said and did what God wanted him to do.  

How about you?  Have you shrunk (Is that a word?) away from what God has asked of you?  There are people who are counting on you?  You don't have to be Paul - but you do have to be who God created you to be.  

English Standard Version (ESV)


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