Sunday, 26 November 2017

Acts Chapter 20 (contd.) - Paul's Goal

In the last post in this series we were in the middle of chapter 20  A Short Eventful Visit  in a place called Troas but their stay there was only for 7 days so they were now travelling once again.



verses 13 - 16


They all moved on together by boat and obviously Paul's destination was to be Jerusalem.


16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.


So the question is - does he make it there in time for Pentecost?


verses 17 - 38

Although Paul wanted to sail past Ephesus we now see in verse 17 that he had stopped in his journey in Miletus and wanted to speak with the elders from the Ephesians church.

They came to meet with him and while he was talking with them we have a very significant statement in verses 22 - 23

22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 


Paul was certain that The Spirit of God was urging him towards Jerusalem, even though this was not a place he would want to go to or that anyone else would want him to go to because there had been ministry through the Holy Spirit indicating the hard time that would await him there.

Why was he still eager to go to Jerusalem?




The answer is in the next verse

24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The answer consists of a few things:

  • Nothing he already knows is swaying him away from Jerusalem.
  • His physical life is not important.
  • He wants to finish his earthly life and meet His Saviour with Joy.
  • His life should be a testimony to the Grace of God.

He had a goal set before him to finish his race well.



Do we have a goal to finish this race of life well?

He also wanted to forge on regardless of what lay ahead and of the things he would be leaving behind as verse 25 tells us there would be many people he would not see again on this earth.


25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.


But from his words in verses 26 - 31 it was clear that he knew he had done what God had wanted him to do.

He had led, taught and prepared the people well for the future so that no matter what trials, tribulations came to the church they would be able to stand against them because they could remember Paul's teaching.


 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[c]which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.


Paul felt at this stage that no-one could hold him accountable for others not knowing the Gospel of Jesus because he had taught everything God had given him to teach.

This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves



This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves.


Have we always used the opportunities we have been given 
to share the Gospel?


Have we always used the knowledge we have of God's Word 
to help others from being led astray?


Have we been good witnesses of Jesus 
so that we have no regrets when we have no time left?

Having then gone on to pray for these elders, they say their goodbyes and Paul departs by ship again.

However we need to continue in the following chapters of Acts to see if Paul gets to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost.





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