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by Wayne Blank
"And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea"
Although he may well have been present earlier, Sopater is first mentioned during Paul's Third Missionary Journey when "there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." It was not just a simple journey, whether actually traveling or waiting for Paul to arrive or return - all the while they often faced the same danger.
"And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
Sopater was among those present at Troas who witnessed the miraculous raising from the dead of Eutychus who fell from a window during a very long sermon by Paul. Although some have mistaken that as a "Sunday" church service ("upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread"), it was actually a continuation of their observing the Sabbath together; since Paul was going to stay with them overnight, he continued preaching past sunset ("continued his speech until midnight"), which was the start of the first day of the week (Biblical days are counted from sunset to sunset). The next day, what some today call "Sunday," Paul did hard labor by walking over 20 miles to catch a ship to continue his voyage.
"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
It is not certain that Sopater is also the "Sosipater" (i.e. a slightly different spelling, which is not an uncommon occurrence) who is mentioned later, but it seems very possible because Sopater and Sosipater are both accounted for in a group of associates of Paul that both times lists Timotheus (see the Fact Finder question below).
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.