Paul’s Continued Travels Through Assos, Mitylene, Samos and Miletus
Paul went by land to Assos, where he had arranged for us to join him, while we traveled by ship.
He joined us there, and we sailed together to Mitylene.
The next day we sailed past the island of Kios. The following day we crossed to the island of Samos, and a day later we arrived at Miletus.
Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, for he didn’t want to spend any more time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, if possible, in time for the Festival of Pentecost. (Acts 20:13-16)
I am sure it is evident to you that I have left you waiting for a long time in Miletus. A little like Joshua half way up My Sinai, you began to wonder if I was coming back at all. I have had some people write to me and ask what has happened. Have I moved on with Paul to Jerusalem and simply forgotten about you. One reader suggested perhaps we were wintering in Miletus because of the weather (cf Acts 27:4-12). I told him, “Good connection of ideas.” But no, that’s not the reason although it could have been. It has been written that mid-September to mid-November was a dangerous season for crossing the Eastern Mediterranean while mid-November to mid-March was considered totally unfit for navigation. So we may indeed have been trapped in Miletus at this time. But no, that was not the reason. It is in fact highly likely that Paul only stayed the number of extra days required for the Ephesian elders to travel the 60 km from Ephesus in order to spend a day with him. We have already seen that he did not want to stop at Ephesus but passed it by. Some conclude that he didn't want to stop in Ephesus as such because it would have been hard to pull himself away given all the emotion. Another suggestion is that to appear back in Ephesus again so soon after the riot would have caused unnecessary trouble for himself and for the Christians there (Ramsay). Hence we see him bypass Ephesus and then call the elders to come and meet him when it is clear the ship needs to take on more supplies. Paul was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem by Passover as we learned during the discussion about the vow he had taken.
No, the reason for the delay had nothing to do with Paul but rather with me or at least things happening to me and Berean Insights. I was suddenly advised by MailChimp that I needed to “conform to industry protocol” and all my recipients in my auto-mailing lists had to have double authentication. I tried to get word out to everyone but many of your email addresses had changed and not many responded. When it came time to “conform”, my list was reduced from thousands to ten. It was pointless to continue to send Gemz by email given that situation. The old Berean Insights website was virtually non-functional for communication, mailing and search capability for Gemz. Finding Gemz on the site was impossible and adding the new features I wanted was not possible. I had decided for a long time now I needed to have a new website built. Given the failure of MailChimp I was forced to do something new. That has been the reason there have been no Gemz since the week before Christmas. You have not missed out on anything; no Gemz have been sent. (This Gemz is the first I have sent since Bible Gemz 1786)
I have also wanted a website capable enough of hosting Deeper Bible Online. For that I need a professionally built website which will be started when the funding is available for it. We have made the first steps at putting something together and the new professional website will have the same web address as the new interim one. I have been able to add the Nuggets and Bible Gemz to the new site and will also add the Gemz quotes in a way that you will be able to search them. In addition to that I am planning to add some other new features. You will have to check out the site to see what things are in the pipeline. But ultimately in the future Deeper Bible will available for you to participate in online courses down through the levels. Watch this space. The web address for all future Berean Insights activity is http://www.bereaninsights.org
There have been a number of people beta testing the new site in the last 24 hours. The site is working seamlessly and bugs have been dealt with so I am advising you that my new website is now live and usable. This will then be the first Gemz on the new site and we will be back in business with Gemz. You will be able to find the new Bible Gemz easily on site without a problem but if you wish to receive Bible Gemz and/or Nuggets by email you will need to register. You will also need to register for some of the other features I will place on this site not the least of which will be Deeper Bible Online. I have added to this interim site 18 Nuggets, including the latest one I have written. The Nuggets are monthly articles I wrote for the Jakarta Praise Community Church magazine Alive. I have post some of the past articles on Berean Insights and will continue to post more articles each week. Let’s see where it leads. I have also posted 143 of the Gemz written from Acts 14 to the this one written today. I will ultimately post all of the Gemz I have written on John, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Luke and the earlier chapters of Acts.
The language button on the top line of the page is a Google translate button. But I suspect we will have to wait for the capablity to post multi-language versions of Gemz and Nuggets. There has also been a request for Brazilian Portuguese to be included but we will have to wait for a team prepared to work behind the scenes to enable that to happen. That only happens in Indonesian because a team of dedicated people are willing to serve you in that way.
Now that I have got the explanation out of the way I will include below the text we will deal with in the following Bible Gemz. We have been waiting for the Ephesian elders to arrive. Their arrival coincided this new interim website going live today.
Below is the text we will dig into from this point onward. Those of you who have followed Bible Gemz for long enough will know what to do. For the others of you, pay careful attention to the text and compile any questions that come to your mind that you want to ask in order to understand Paul’s speech to the Ephesian elders.
Paul Meets the Ephesian Elders
But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come and meet him.
When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now
I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.
I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes.
I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.
“And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me,
except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
“And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again.
I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault,
for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.
“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.
I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.
Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.
Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
“And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
“I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes.
You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me.
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them.
They all cried as they embraced and kissed him good-bye.
They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they escorted him down to the ship. (Acts 20:17-38)
Anything you avoid in life will continue to repeat itself, until you learn from it. Rick Godwin
By giving up your rights, you open the way for the Lord to act on your behalf.
He who has never failed cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. Herman Melville
Ask Him to reveal His Word to you; He is busting to do that; but are you ready to receive it?