Acts Chapter 20
Paul's third missionary journey continued (Paul's First Missionary Journey: Acts 13:1 to 15:35, Paul's Second Missionary Journey: Acts 15:36 to 18:22, Paul's Third Missionary Journey: Acts 18:23 to 21:17) through Macedonia and Greece. As always, the "uproar" followed Paul almost everywhere he went.
"20:1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. 20:2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece [see also Ancient Empires - Greece, which by Paul's time had been overtaken by Rome - see Ancient Empires - Rome], 20:3 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. 20:4 And 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. 20:5 These going before tarried for us at Troas. 20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread [see Christ's Feast of Unleavened Bread; listen also to the Sermons First Day of Unleavened Bread: Beginning The Journey To Salvation and Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread: The Road To Life from our Sermons page], and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days." (Acts 20:1-6 KJV)
Biblical days begin and end at sunset. Paul had spent the Sabbath with Christians [see How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4] at Troas, and remained as their overnight guest at the start of the first day of the week, which corresponds to sunset on Saturday. That's how "20:7 And upon the first day of the week ... continued his speech until midnight." During the very long sermon, on what we would today call Saturday night, a young man named Eutychus fell - asleep, then from the window, then into the sleep of death (see What Happens When You Die?) - but was raised alive again (see Resurrections), by The Spirit Of God (see also The Quick and The Dead), through Paul.
"20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread [i.e. an ordinary meal], Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 20:8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
20:12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted." (Acts 20:7-12 KJV)
The next morning, on what would today be called Sunday, Paul made the long, laborious walk to catch the awaiting ship. His journey continued on, eventually to Ephesus where he made his farewell address to the Church there.
"20:13 And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. 20:14 And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. 20:15 And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost [see Christ's Pentecost; listen also to the Sermons Pentecost, A Day Of Reckoning and Christ's Pentecost from our Sermons page].
20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church [see What Is The Church? and Church of God]. 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God [see The Cure For The Carnal Mind], and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ [see The Process Of Conversion].
20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 20:23 Save that The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry [see Paul's Ministry], which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God].
20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood [see Why Blood?]. 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you [see The Warning About Grievous Wolves], not sparing the flock. 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them [see Many Antichrists?]. 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace [see Growing In Grace], which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship." (Acts 20:13-38 KJV)
Acts Chapter 21
The return journey was a port to port voyage until they reached Tyre, from which Paul made the overland journey down to Jerusalem. As it turned out, the opposition to Paul was no less there than it had often been in the distant lands, as he was warned by the prophet Agabus (see Paul and Agabus).
"21:1 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 21:2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre [see also The Christians of Tyre]: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 21:5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 21:6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.
21:7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip The Evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
21:16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge." (Acts 21:1-16 KJV)
The arrival at Jerusalem was at first joyful, "21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly," (Acts 21:17 KJV), because "many thousands of Jews there are which believe" (Acts 21:20 KJV), but it took very little time for the truth-haters who were also there to strike.
"21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry [see The Apostle To The Gentiles].
21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them." (Acts 21:17-26 KJV)
Paul's arrest was the result of false accusations. If not for the Roman troops, Paul would have been killed right then in the riot, but the Romans were not interested in truth or justice, only control.
"21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
21:29 For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.
21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
21:33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. 21:34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. 21:35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him." (Acts 21:27-36 KJV)
Paul was then allowed to address his accusers. Note that his answer to them is divided by the chapters, 21 and 22 (there were no chapters in the Scriptures as they were originally written).
"21:37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee?
Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
21:39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
21:40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying," (Acts 21:37-40 KJV)
Acts Chapter 22
Paul answered his accusers with Truth, including an admission of how he was once one of the people who were now opposing him.
"22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
22:2 And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,
22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew [see Saul The Benjamite, Paul The Christian Jew], born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus [see On The Road To Damascus] about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord?
And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord?
And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law [see Ananias The Disciple], having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." (Acts 22:1-21 KJV)
"22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom" (Acts 22:28 KJV) attested to how Roman "freedom" was merely the label that they had for Caesar's war machine that was occupying many countries through Europe and Asia. It was that aggression against the sovereignty of other nations that made Paul a Roman citizen, whether he wanted it or not (see Paul The Roman Citizen).
"22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,
22:24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
22:26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
22:27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman?
He said, Yea.
22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom.
And Paul said, But I was free born. 22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him." (Acts 22:22-29 KJV)
Paul was then brought before The Sanhedrin, the council that had the Christ crucified, and ironically, the council that Paul used to be part of before his conversion.
"22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them." (Acts 22:30 KJV)
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