Paul is traveling through Macedonia and Greece, stopping in the towns in which he previously preached.
In a rush to get back to Jerusalem for Pentecost, Paul sends for the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus and breaks the news to them that this is the last time they will see his face.
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.“v.22-24
He conveys peace and pride to suffer and even die for Christ, that his life is of no use to himself. He warns the elders that “savage wolves will come in,” drawing the disciples away. Lastly, he reminds them that he never asked for money, saying:
“…I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” v.35
The elders weep, kissing and hugging Paul as they send him off.
Let’s Talk About It
In Paul’s farewell we see the peace that surpasses all understanding that he mentions in his letter the Philippians. It is a testament that whatever God bring you to, He will see you through. He will hold you, keep you, strengthen you, and enable you to not only endure, but to understand and rejoice in just how great is the reward of belonging to Him.
mercy Over Revenge
Paul is so honored to suffer for Christ that it doesn’t leave much room for anger towards those through whose hands he will suffer. True freedom includes freedom from spitefulness, hatred, and revenge – that regardless of your response, I will show you the love of Christ.
Leading with Love
What a beautiful example of leadership. Paul spent time with people – days, months, and sometimes years – encouraging, teaching, helping, and raising up a legacy of leaders. We see effective leadership marked by authenticity, affection, and sacrificial love.