- to locate Macedonia, Greece, Tyre, and Caesarea on a map
- to communicate the main events of the last 2 years of Paul’s 3rd missionary journey
- to define sacrifice
- to describe how a Christian must be willing to surrender and sacrifice his life for Christ
Paul is ending his 3rd missionary journey. He travels, after 2 years, from Ephesus into Macedonia and Greece only to turn around and retrace his steps knowing that his journey will eventually lead him to Jerusalem.
After the riot in Ephesus calms down, Paul decides to leave town and visit the churches in Macedonia and Greece which were started on his 2nd Missionary Journey. Philip the Evangelist (remember the voting for the first seven deacons? remember the Ethiopian?) will be seen again in these verses.
Main Events of the Story:
Paul leaves Ephesus and travels to Macedonia and Greece exhorting the disciples. This means that Paul was teaching, encouraging, and leading the disciples in the ways of Christ. While in Greece, Paul hears about a group of Jews who are plotting to take his life, so he decides to leave Greece and travel back the way he came. There are at least 7 other men traveling with Paul, one being Timothy.
They arrive in Troas and Paul teaches in someone’s home. Paul teaches, and teaches, and teaches, and midnight comes and he is still teaching. A young man named Eutychus is sitting in a window on the 3rd floor of this house. He falls asleep and falls out of the window and dies. Paul races down the stairs, falls upon the young man, embraces him and he comes back to life. Paul returns upstairs and eats and teaches until morning.
The men now travel to Militus which is just south of Ephesus. Paul calls for the elders of Ephesus to come down to him. They come and Paul begins to share his BAD NEWS with them. He tells the men that the Holy Spirit is telling him to travel to Jerusalem and that afflictions await Paul there. But Paul reassures them that it’s OK. He says, “My life is not dear to me,” and that his life belongs to Jesus. But there is more BAD NEWS…Paul tells the men that they will never see his face again. He tells them to be watchful and on guard because men are going to rise up and try to teach wrong things about Jesus. Paul exhorts them to study the word of God and to care for those who are needy and weak. The people listening to Paul begin to weep, they embrace Paul, and take him to his ship.
Paul and his companions arrive in Tyre. Paul tells the church there the same things he told the elders of Ephesus. The people tell Paul to NOT go to Jerusalem, but Paul insists. The people tell him goodbye on the beach and off Paul goes to Caesarea. While in Caesarea, Paul stays with Philip the Evangelist who has 4 daughters. A prophet comes from Judea to Paul to give him a message from the Holy Spirit. The prophet takes Paul’s belt and ties it around his own hands and feet and tells Paul that this is how the Jews are going to treat him in Jerusalem. The people weep for Paul. And Paul, who is heart broken by this point, tells them that he is ready to die for Jesus.
Can you say you are ready to die for Jesus if He asked you to?
When Jesus was on earth a rich young man came to Him asking if he could follow Him. Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and to come with him. The rich young man left in shame. He couldn’t do it. Maybe eventually he changed his heart and he did…but dying for Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean physically dying for Him, although it could. Dying to self, dying for Jesus means taking inventory of our lives and seeing if there is anything that takes precedence over God’s work. Suffering for Jesus, surrendering to Jesus means that we are willing to do anything our Master tells us to do. ANYTHING. That means doing the hard thing. Doing the thing our hearts might not want to do. Giving up what we cherish the most. Cutting sins out of our lives that we enjoy doing. Walking the walk and not just talking about it.
If I say I am a Christian, that means I must recognize the fact that my life is not my own. It was bought by God when Jesus died on that cross. I am His. And Paul recognized this and is a great example of a life that is broken and spilled out for Jesus.