From Acts 20, verse 1 and onward we see the transition of Paul’s ministry of mission work and church-planting to personal witness, testimony, and endurance.
The remainder of Paul’s life will be very difficult.
At a time when many would be retiring, Paul’s life example reminds us there is no such thing as ‘retirement’ in God’s Word.
Now that so many churches have been established, and lives transformed, is it time for Paul to rest on the laurels of Jesus’ conquests in the very midst of Satan’s kingdom?
No. In fact, Paul’s stated desire is to go to Rome, to visit with the church established there by others. Paul recognizes Rome is the very heart of the beast, and he desires to go there to pierce that heart.
But first, as always, comes devotion. He must go to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. This is his goal. Along the way he returns to visit the churches which have been previously established in Macedonia, and Achaia, and at Troas.
As Paul journeys with his traveling companions, he acknowledges to all this will be the last time he will be with them in the flesh. And so, he has a burning passionate desire to fill them one last time with as much of God’s Word as he possibly can.
These last messages from Paul are going to have to hold them for life. Paul is aware of this, and he tells those to whom he is speaking so they will know it as well. As meaningful as Paul’s visits have been, both to the churches and to Paul, this will be his last.
You may think Paul’s journey to Rome would be a restful reward for all his labors working alongside Jesus to establish churches across Asia and Europe in the known world. But such would not be the case.
Paul’s final challenges will be much greater and more difficult than any he has faced so far – and will require a greater degree of faith on his part than has been required of him to date. We rejoin Luke along the way as this final journey begins.