THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
by Greg Williamson © revised 2022
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation*

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Through Macedonia and Greece; Eutychus Raised from the Dead at Troas (Acts 20:1–6; 7-12) | Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:13–38)

Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:13–38)

Participants, perspective, & prayer (Acts 20:13-38)

 
(13) But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land. (14) And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. (15) Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus. (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 in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

(17) From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. (18) And when they had come to him, he said to them,

"You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, (19) serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; (20) how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, (21) solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (22) And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, (23) except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. (24) But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

(25) "And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. (26) Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. (27) For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. (28) Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (29) I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; (30) and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. (31) Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each 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 have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes. (34) You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. (35) In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

(36) When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. (37) And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, (38) grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
 

OUTLINE
IV. PAUL EN ROUTE TO MILETUS (Acts 20:13–16): The apostle is hurrying to Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost.
V. PAUL IN MILETUS (Acts 20:17–38): The apostle shares his heart with a group of select men.
  A. The participants (Acts 20:17): Paul sends for the Ephesian elders to join him at Miletus.
  B. The perspective (Acts 20:18–35): Paul summarizes the gospel ministry in a threefold manner.
    1. He reviews the past (Acts 20:18–21, 26–27, 31, 33–35)
      a. Paul reminds them of his uncompromising ministry (Acts 20:18–21, 31): For three years he fearlessly, faithfully, and tearfully preached Christ among them.
      b. Paul reminds them of his faithful ministry (Acts 20:26–27): He has always been faithful in declaring God's Word, so no one's damnation can be blamed on him.
      c. Paul reminds them of his unselfish ministry (Acts 20:33–35).
        (1) What he does (Acts 20:33–35a): He fully supports himself, taking money from no one.
        (2) Why he does it (Acts 20:35b): He remembers—and challenges them to remember—Jesus' words: "It is more blessed to give than to receive!"
    2. He overviews the present (Acts 20:22–25, 28, 32)
      a. Paul explains (Acts 20:22–25): This will be their final meeting, for he will face difficult times ahead.
      b. Paul exhorts (Acts 20:28, 32)
        (1) "Feed and shepherd God's flock" (Acts 20:28).
        (2) "I entrust to you God and the word of his grace" (Acts 20:32).
    3. He previews the future (Acts 20:29–30): Paul warns them to watch out for false teachers in the church.
      a. The iniquity of these men (Acts 20:29): They will be like vicious wolves, not sparing the flock.
      b. The identity of these men (Acts 20:30): They will come from the leadership of the church itself.
  C. The prayer (Acts 20:36–38): When Paul finishes speaking, he kneels and prays for them. After a tearful farewell, he departs for Jerusalem. [ref]
  • (Acts 20:13-15) ... Assos ... Mitylene ... Chios ... Samos ... Miletus. Stott:
         
     
    This next brief paragraph in Luke's narrative (only four verses in our English Bibles) is a rather breathless account of Paul's voyage from Troas (where he addressed the local church) to Miletus (where he addressed the pastors of the Ephesian church). He tells us that Paul was 'in a hurry' (Acts 20:16); we get the impression that Luke was in a hurry too. He mentions four coastal or island ports at which Paul and his companions stopped (Assos, Mitylene, Kios and Samos) after leaving Troas and before arriving at Miletus. The we-section which began at [Acts 20:5] continues, so that Luke must be drawing on his own daily log of events. The ship evidently sailed each day and anchored each night. 'The reason', Ramsay explained, 'lies in the wind'. During the Aegean summer 'it generally blows from the north, beginning at a very early hour in the morning'. Then 'in the late afternoon it dies away' and 'at sunset there is a dead calm'. [ref] (Larkin: "Further, the narrow channels along the west coast of Asia Minor were so dotted with small islands that night navigation was dangerous." [ref])
     
     
     
  • (Acts 20:13) Keener: "More than many modern readers, ancient readers were often interested in travel details; educated people knew many of these locations. As elsewhere, Luke's travel details (e.g., the sequence of locations and the length of time spent traveling between them in view of seasonal wind patterns) fit the geography precisely, as one could expect for an eyewitness account." [ref]
  • (Acts 20:16-17) Paul deliberately bypasses Ephesus as he hurries to make it to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost. However, he still takes time to send for the Ephesian elders. Marshall:
         
     
    Paul evidently feared that if he stopped at Ephesus he would be unable to get away again in a hurry; he had therefore chosen a ship which went by a faster route. There is some force in the suggestion that Paul may have feared further disturbances if he reappeared in Ephesus . It may seem strange that if Paul was in a hurry he still sent for the church leaders at Ephesus to meet him at Miletus. But the explanation will be that the ship would stay in Miletus for a day or two, sufficiently long to enable a message to go to Ephesus and for the leaders to come over, and Paul had avoided also having to spend some days in a ship that was unloading and loading in Ephesus. [ref]
     
     
     
  • (Acts 20:18-35) The elders from the church in Ephesus arrive and Paul delivers his farewell speech. Wiersbe:
         
     
    In the Book of Acts, Luke reports eight messages given by the Apostle Paul to various people: a Jewish synagogue congregation (Acts 13:14-43); Gentiles (Acts 14:14-18; 17:22-34); church leaders (Acts 20:17-38); a Jewish mob (Acts 22:1-21); the Jewish council (Acts 23:1-10); and various government officials (Acts 24:10-21; 26:1-32). His address to the Ephesian elders is unique in that it reveals Paul the pastor rather than Paul the evangelist or Paul the defender of the faith. The message enables us to get a glimpse of how Paul ministered in Ephesus for three years.

    There were three parts to Paul's farewell message. First he reviewed the past (Acts 20:18-21); then he discussed the present (Acts 20:22-27); and finally, he spoke about the future (Acts 20:28-35). In the first part, he emphasized his faithfulness to the Lord and to the church as he ministered for three years in Ephesus. The second section reveals Paul's personal feelings in view of both the past and the future. In the third part, he warned them of the dangers that the churches faced. [ref]
     
     
     
  • (Acts 20:18-21) Wiersbe: "The motive for Paul's ministry is found in the phrase 'serving the Lord' (Acts 20:19). ... The manner of his ministry was exemplary (Acts 20:18-19). ... The message of his ministry (Acts 20:20-21) was also widely known, because he announced it and taught it publicly (Acts 19:9) as well as in the various house churches of the fellowship." [ref]
  • (Acts 20:19) Paul states that he had been serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews.
    ■ Williams:
         
     
    [Paul's] ministry had been marked by self-sacrifice. The tears were not for his own hard times (lit., "trials" or "temptations"), which were, on the contrary, a source of joy, but for the suffering of others -- for those "in Christ" who faced trials (cf. Acts 20:31; Rom. 9:2; 2 Cor. 2:4; Phil. 3:18) and for those without Christ who lived in a world "without hope and without God" (Eph. 2:12). We may take his reference to tears literally; Paul was no Stoic for whom impassivity was a virtue. He had served "with all humility" in a world in which humility was deemed to be a fault, not a virtue -- the character befitting only a slave (both "all" and "humility" are typical of Paul; cf. Eph. 4:2; Phil. 2:3; Col. 2:18, 23; 3:12). But Paul saw himself as "the slave of the Lord" (NIV's served the Lord misses the force of his language; for the verb "to be a slave" cf. Rom. 12:11; 14:18; 16:18; Eph. 6:7; Phil. 2:22; Col. 3:24; 1 Thess. 1:9f.; for the noun, Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1). His reference to the plots of the Jews reminds us that there is much in this history that Luke has not told us. Paul himself fills some of these gaps (1 Cor. 15:32; 2 Cor. 1:8–10; 11:23ff.; cf. Acts 9:23; 20:3; 23:12; 25:3; 1 Thess. 2:14–16 for other plots). [ref]
     
TRUTH APPLIED
Humility & Tenderheartedness
H. A. Ironside:
     
 
I think [Paul] puts before us here what should characterize every true minister of Christ: "Serving the Lord with all humility (lowliness) of mind." If there is any position, any calling where pride should have no place, it is in connection with the ministry of the Word of God, for, to begin with, the minister of Christ is one who was just a poor, lost, needy sinner, but who has been saved by grace and entrusted with a message to the world and to the people of God. He does not receive this because of any merit of his own. It is all because of the goodness of the Lord. Certainly therefore he has nothing to be proud of.

When people used to crowd around George Whitefield and praise him because of his marvelous preaching, he would stop them like this: "The devil told me that just before I came down from the pulpit.' Then he would add, "There are many who can preach the gospel better than I can, but none can preach a better gospel." It is the message that counts. The servant is really nothing, and the more we realize this and are willing to take the place of nothingness, the more God delights to come in and work through His servants.

We see in Paul the ideal minister of Christ, characterized by lowliness of mind and by tenderness of heart. That comes out in this testimony. He had served the Lord with all humility of mind, and he was not ashamed to weep with them that weep. We who try to minister Christ may well pray for tender, compassionate hearts. Men and women on every hand are in grief and sorrow. We can well understand what Joseph Parker meant when, addressing a group of ministerial students, he said: "Young gentlemen, always preach to broken hearts, and you will never lack for an audience."

Oh, the sorrowing people in the world today, the broken hearts all about us! How men need that tender message of comfort which the gospel brings! But unless it comes from a heart that is really softened by divine grace, it is powerless to help and bless others. And so Paul says, "I serve the Lord with many tears." They were not sham tears; they were not crocodile tears.

I heard of a clergyman who had all kinds of instructions written in the margins of his typewritten sermons. When some of his hearers found one of these sermons which had been left on the pulpit, they were surprised to read: "Smile here." "Raise the voice here." "Lower the voice here." "Weep here." And so on! It was all made-to-order emotion. That does not glorify God. But one who is in touch with the tender, sympathetic heart of the Lord Jesus, who really feels for those to whom he ministers, will be able to bring a message of consolation to those who are tried and troubled. Such an one was the Apostle Paul. His trials never turned him aside. He pressed forward in spite of them. [ref]
 
 
 
  • (Acts 20:20-21) Paul says that during his time of ministry at Ephesus he did not shrink from declaring what was profitable, and teaching both publicly and from house to house, solemnly sharing and declaring the Gospel message to Jews and Greeks alike. Williams:
         
     
    [Paul's] ministry had been all-embracing -- to both Jews and Greeks (Acts 20:21) -- another Pauline expression (cf. Rom. 1:16; 2:9, 10; 3:9; 1 Cor. 1:24). It had involved both public preaching (in the synagogue and the hall of Tyrannus, Acts 19:8, 9) and private (e.g., to the church that met in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, 1 Cor. 16:19). His preaching had included "hard sayings" as well as "comfortable words," warning his hearers that they should turn to God in repentance and have faith in (the) Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21). ... In short, he "held nothing back" that would be of help to their salvation (Acts 20:20; cf. 1 Cor. 10:33; 2 Cor. 4:2; Gal. 4:16). [ref]
     
     
     
TRUTH APPLIED
Six Graphic Pictures Of Ministry
Warren W. Wiersbe notes the "six graphic pictures" Paul employs [in Acts 20:22-27] in describing his ministry -- accountant, runner, steward, witness, herald, and watchman:
     
 

In his testimony, Paul used six graphic pictures of his ministry to explain why he would not quit but would go to Jerusalem to die for Jesus Christ if necessary.

  1. Paul could say, "None of these things move me!" because he knew what he was as a minister of Jesus Christ Paul saw himself as an accountant (Acts 20:24) who had examined his assets and liabilities and decided to put Jesus Christ ahead of everything else. He had faced this kind of reckoning early in his ministry and had willingly made the spiritual the number one priority in his life (Phil. 3:1-11).
  2. He also saw himself as a runner who wanted to finish his course in joyful victory (Phil. 3:12-14; 2 Tim. 4:8). The three phrases "my life, my course, the ministry" are the key. Paul realized that his life was God's gift to him, and that God had a special plan for his life that would be fulfilled in his ministry. Paul was devoted to a great Person ("serving the Lord") and motivated by a great purpose, the building of the church.
  3. Paul's third picture is that of the steward, for his ministry was something that he had "received of the Lord." The steward owns little or nothing, but he possesses all things. His sole purpose is to serve his master and please him. "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2, NKJV). The steward must one day give an account of his ministry, and Paul was ready for that day.
  4. The next picture is that of the witness, "testifying of the Gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24, and note [Acts 20:21]). The word means "to solemnly give witness," and it reminds us of the seriousness of the message and of the ministry. As we share the Gospel with others, it is a matter of life or death (2 Cor. 2:15-16). Paul was a faithful witness both in the life that he lived (Acts 20:18) and the message that he preached.
  5. Picture number five is the herald (Acts 20:25). The word preaching means "to declare a message as the herald of the king." The witness tells what has happened to him, but the herald tells what the king tells him to declare. He is a man commissioned and sent with a message, and he must not change that message in any way. And since he is sent by the king, the people who listen had better be careful how they treat both the messenger and the message.
  6. The final picture, and perhaps the most dramatic, is that of the watchman (Acts 20:26). As in Acts 18:6, this is a reference to the "watchman on the walls" in Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:1-9. What a serious calling it was to be a watchman! He had to stay awake and alert, ready to sound the alarm if he saw danger approaching. He had to be faithful, not fearful, because the safety of many people rested with him. Paul had been a faithful watchman (Acts 20:31), for he had declared to sinners and saints all the counsel of God. Unfortunately, we have today many unfaithful watchmen who think only of themselves (Isa. 56:10-12). [ref]
 
  • (Acts 20:28) Toussaint: "Here the elders are described as overseers (episkopous, from the verb episkopeō, 'to look for, to care for'). The term 'elders' has primarily Jewish antecedents and stresses the dignity of the office, whereas 'overseers' is mainly Greek in its derivation and emphasizes the responsibility of the office, namely, 'to look after' others." [ref]
TRUTH APPLIED
Dirty, Lousy, Stupid ... And Highly Valued!
John Stott:
     
 
Implicit in [Acts 20:28] is the truth that the pastoral oversight of the church belongs ultimately to God himself. Indeed, each of the three persons of the Trinity has a share in this oversight. To begin with, the church is 'God's church'. Next, whether we read that he redeemed it 'with his own blood' or 'with the blood of his own', it is plain that the purchase price was the blood of Christ. And over this church, which belongs to God and has been bought by Christ, the Holy Spirit appoints overseers. So the oversight is his too, or he could not delegate it to others. This splendid Trinitarian affirmation, that the pastoral oversight of the church belongs to God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), should have a profound effect on pastors. It should humble us to remember that the church is not ours, but God's. And it should inspire us to faithfulness. For sheep are not at all the clean and cuddly creatures they may appear. In fact, they are dirty, subject to unpleasant pests, and regularly need to be dipped in strong chemicals to rid them of lice, ticks and worms. They are also unintelligent, wayward and obstinate. I hesitate to apply the metaphor too closely and characterize the people of God as dirty, lousy or stupid! But some people are a great trial to their pastors (and vice versa). And their pastors will persevere in caring for them only if they remember how valuable they are in God's sight. They are the flock of God the Father, purchased by the precious blood of God the Son, and supervised by overseers appointed by God the Holy Spirit. If the three persons of the Trinity are thus committed to the welfare of the people, should we not be also? [ref]
 
 
 

TRUTH APPLIED
Dangers Within Us
Warren W. Wiersbe:
     
 
[In Acts 20:28-35, the apostle] Paul brought his farewell message to a close by warning the leaders of the dangers they had to recognize and deal with if they were to protect and lead the church. ... To begin with, there are dangers around us, "wolves" that want to ravage the flock (Acts 20:29). Paul was referring to false teachers ... But there are also dangers among us (Acts 20:30), because of people within the church who are ambitious for position and power. ... There are also dangers within us (Acts 20:31-35), and this seems to be where Paul put the greatest emphasis.
  1. The first is carelessness (Acts 20:31), failing to stay alert and forgetting the price that others have paid so that we might have God's truth.
  2. The second sin is shallowness (Acts 20:32). We cannot build the church unless God is building our lives daily.
  3. Covetousness is the third sin we must avoid (Acts 20:33). It means a consuming and controlling desire for what others have and for more of what we ourselves already have.
  4. Paul also mentioned laziness (Acts 20:34).
  5. Finally, Paul warned about selfishness (Acts 20:35). True ministry means giving, not getting; it means following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. [ref]
 
  • (Acts 20:29-30) Stott: Paul warns the Ephesian church leaders about
         
     
    the wolves, that is, the false teachers who, Paul knows, will after his departure enter and devastate Christ's flock (Acts 20:29). Some of them will arise even from within the church. By distorting the truth, they will induce people to forsake it and follow them instead (Acts 20:30). So the Ephesian pastors must be on their guard, as Paul had constantly warned them while he was with them (Acts 20:31). ... In the ancient Near East wolves were the chief enemy of sheep. Hunting now singly now in packs, they were a constant threat. Sheep were defenceless against them. Shepherds could not afford to relax their vigilance. Nor can Christian pastors. Jesus himself warned of false prophets; 'wolves in sheep's clothing' he called them (Mt. 7:15). So the shepherds of Christ's flock have a double duty: to feed the sheep (by teaching the truth) and to protect them from wolves (by warning of error). [ref]
     
     
     
TRUTH APPLIED
Teach Truth & Refute Error
John Stott:
     
 
The shepherds of Christ's flock have a double duty: to feed the sheep (by teaching the truth) and to protect them from wolves (by warning of error). As Paul put it to Titus, elders must hold firm the sure word according to apostolic teaching, so that they would be able both 'to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it' (Tit. 1:9, RSV). This emphasis is unpopular today. We are frequently told always to be positive in our teaching, and never negative. But those who say this have either not read the New Testament or, having read it, they disagree with it. For the Lord Jesus and his apostles refuted error themselves and urged us to do the same. One wonders if it is the neglect of this obligation which is a major cause of today's theological confusion. If, when false teaching arises, Christian leaders sit idly by and do nothing, or turn tail and flee, they will earn the terrible epithet 'hirelings' who care nothing for Christ's flock (Jn. 10:12ff). Then too it will be said of believers, as it was of Israel, that 'they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and ... they became food for all the wild animals' (Ezk. 34:5). [ref]
 
 
 

  • (Acts 20:32) Luke tells us that Paul commends the church leaders to God and to the word of His grace.
    ■ Toussaint: "Paul then committed them first to God and then to the Word of His grace. Though trust in God is essential, it must be accompanied by obedience to His Word. This will lead to edification (it will build you up) and to an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (cf. Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4)." [ref]
    ■ Marshall:
         
     
    Paul's final step is to commend the leaders to the care of God. This action should not be regarded as some kind of rite of ordination to their office as overseers of the flock, since they already had this status (Acts 20:17). It is Paul's handing over to God of the responsibility which he has borne for the church, and represents a farewell act as in [Acts 14:23]. The leaders are put in the hands of God and placed under the word of his grace, i.e. the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24). ... Paul and Luke know nothing of the idea that church leaders stand over the Word committed to them (2 Tim. 1:14) and are in control of it; on the contrary, they stand under it. [ref]
     
TRUTH APPLIED
Detachment From Material Gain
Polhill:
     
 
There was, however, one matter of personal conduct of prime importance [Paul] had not yet treated; and he ended on this note (Acts 20:33–35). In a real sense he ended as he had begun (Acts 20:18–21), pointing to his own deportment in ministry as an example for them to emulate. The matter in question was the leaders' relationship to material goods. Paul's detachment from material gain is well-documented in his epistles. He never used his ministry as a "mask to cover up greed" (2 Thess 2:5). At Corinth he supported himself with his own hands (Acts 18:2f.; cf. 1 Cor 4:12; 9:12, 15; 2 Cor 11:7; 12:13). The same was true at Thessalonica (1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3:7–8). [Acts 20:34] would indicate that he followed the same pattern of self-support at Ephesus. In his epistles Paul exhorted his Christian readers to follow his example and work with their own hands, not being dependent on others (1 Thess 4:11; 2 Thess 3:9). In the Miletus speech Paul gave the additional incentive that such hard work put one in the position to help the weak. In his epistles he showed a similar concern that Christians help the weak and needy, that they share in one another's burdens (cf. Rom 15:1; 1 Thess 5:14; Eph 4:28; Gal 6:2). Greed is a universal human problem, and church leaders are not exempt (cf. the exhortation in [Acts 20:28] for church leaders to "watch yourselves"). That avarice among church leaders was a real problem in Asia Minor seems to be attested by the Pastoral Epistles, in which Paul insisted that a major qualification for church leaders should be their detachment from the love of money (1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7, 11). It may well be that the false teachers were particularly marked by their greed (cf. 1 Tim 6:3–10).

The saying of Jesus with which Paul concluded his address should be seen in light of this context: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Paul applied this rule to the specific problem of avarice among church leaders. The minister is to be a servant, a giver and not a taker. ("Receiving" can be a gracious act, and to refuse the well-intentioned gift of another can be an insult or even a rejection of that person. The saying should not be seen as a judgment against gracious receiving but rather against acquisitiveness, against actively "taking" for oneself, a common meaning for [lambanō]. The emphasis in any event is on giving.) Acquisitiveness has been the downfall for many a servant of God. This word of the Lord as applied by Paul is sound ministerial advice. The one who leads the flock of God should focus on the needs of others, be more concerned with giving than with acquiring. Paul had begun his address by listing the qualities of his own ministry as an example for the Ephesian leaders to follow. He concluded with a final quality he had sought to model. Perhaps he held it off to the end because he saw it as the most essential of all for a legitimate ministry. [ref]
 
 
 
  • (Acts 20:36-38)
    ■ Witherington: "The speech now ended, according to [Acts 20:36] Paul knelt down and prayed with all there. It was an emotional time with much hugging and kissing and weeping, showing that at least in some quarters Paul was greatly loved. The grieving involved is said to have a specific cause in [Acts 20:38], namely, that they would not see Paul again." [ref]
    ■ Toussaint: "The elders’ deep love for Paul is displayed here. The remainder of the trip to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1–25) is filled with details of such expressions of love for Paul. Why did Luke linger on these points? He did this to contrast the response to Paul in Gentile lands with that of the Jews in Jerusalem." [ref]
A PRINCIPLE TO LIVE BY
Relationships with One Another (Acts 20:17-38)
Spiritual leaders are to develop deep, lasting, and loyal relationships with one another. (Video link) [ref]

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*Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org