Paul is heading to Jerusalem to deal with dissension and report what God is doing in his Acts 1:8 work to the ends of the earth – as God had ordained him to the Gentiles. He testifies about his message, mission, mandate, and his understanding about what this means. As you read on:

  • I testified to Jew and Greeks about Repentance toward God and Faith in Jesus
  • I am compelled by the Spirit – that’s his mandate. And he points out that he doesn’t know all that will happen but knows that chains and afflictions are coming
  • v25 I know that none of you will ever see me again

So he was heading to Jerusalem didn’t have time to go to Ephesus – but had called for the Elders from there to come and meet with him. And he is giving them these final in person words. Yes he will write the church later while in his first imprisonment – but he’s speaking to the elders face to face.

He declares his innocence regarding anything that may happen to them. Meaning that he had been faithful to proclaim the Gospel of Peace and Truth. He didn’t paint a rose garden, but declared God’s Glory and the reality of following him.

Then in v36, how real and touching, he knelt down and prayed… v37 many tears were shed by everyone… 38 grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. Wow – so real and personal. This separated them in the ministry but not in the heart.

It was so hard, Luke says in 21:1, after we tore ourselves away… we set sail.

As you read all of this and the rest of the chapters in Acts that Luke wrote regarding Paul – we must recognize how connected to the Spirit Paul was. He never moved until God said, “move”, but also he never stayed when God Said “GO”.

He knew hard times were coming and yet God kept some of the “specifics” from him, just for his own peace, for the sake of saving from concern.

I think when we read this, the depth of what happened, and how long, and hard, we sometimes miss. He wasn’t taking a flight, he was taking a boat. He wasn’t being simply questioned, but being falsely accused. He spent years in this part of journey and finds then that he is going to get a major prayer answered. He’s going to finally get to preach in Rome!