20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 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. 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. These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 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.

Eutychus Raised from the Dead

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. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 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.

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.

The Eutychus story is why we do not have three stories in the sanctuary. Okay not really… but on a serious note, Paul had so much to share that they were able to talk together all through the night. Far to often we feel so busy that we feel we cannot stop and share with others what Jesus is doing in our lives. Or maybe you are not being a faithful servant and so you have nothing to share. How long could you share with someone else? Whether you are too busy or too lazy, God has not given up on you. Repent of these things and seek God on how you can surrender your busyness or your unfaithfulness to become a mighty worker of the Gospel.

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

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. 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. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.

Paul was given a glimpse into his future and it was not going to be pretty. But Paul embraced it and used this foreknowledge to say goodbye to those he had ministered. No pity parties, just the faithful embrace of the will of God.

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. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.

You never know what tomorrow will bring, so make the most of what you have been given. Paul lays it out in his farewell address to the Ephesian elders. By stating that “I am innocent of the blood of all.” Paul is saying that he has preached the Gospel and held nothing back. So that on the day judgement they could not claim ignorance before God and blame Paul for not telling them. Bold and to the point.

Would you be able to say the same things if you moved away today, never to see some people again? If you lost a job, never to see your coworkers again? Lost a loved one, never to see them again?

Pastor Mark

3 Comments

  • Patti Blair

    I love how Paul ensured that they were trained/taught at every opportunity that he had with them. Paul never wasted his time. There was an urgency to his preaching, teaching and training of those who followed Christ.
    Paul also reminded them to work and to use that to support themselves and those in the body who needed help.

  • Donnie Blair

    Paul knew that even though he was leaving he had trained people to carry on in his place to train others in spreading the gospel. We forget too often that we should always be seeking to train others, to pass on the blessed hope of the gospel if Jesus. In the military every good squad leader needs a assistant squad leader to train to replace him. Are we living to make sure we can pass the torch to someone.

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