And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Here in Colorado, we love to hike. Some of those hikes are light and easy, and some are known to kill people because of the difficulty. Either way, there is an unwritten badge of honor to hike and summit 14ers (mountains that are at or above 14,000 feet or 4270 meters). There are certain 14ers that are only for the most skilled, often requiring hands and knees or special equipment to make the journey. Then there are the 14ers that make you drive most of the way, then let you hike the rest…those are for me.
Anyways, the hike from Troas to Assos was known to be quite a difficult one on foot. That is the reason why Paul’s company, including Luke sailed from Troas to Assos. From there Paul joined everyone to sail from Assos making a stop at Mitylene on the island of Lesbos. They passed by the island of Chios, and the next day made a stop at the island of Samos to spend the night at Trogyllium. The following day, Paul and company arrived at Miletus. This route was chosen because Paul wanted to be close to Ephesus and still make it in time to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost or Passover as scholars explain the day.
Paul calls the Ephesian elders to travel down to Miletus (about 50 miles) and gives them his final words as he knows that they will not see each other again. He reminds them of their history together and his teaching. He tells him of his need to go to Jerusalem in spite of what might happen to him there. He reminds them to take care of the church, and to be aware and discerning against false prophets describing them as wolves and the church as the flock. He reminds them of his personal example and sacrifice then ends with the words of Christ “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” They finished in prayer and many tears and accompanied him to his ship.
We all hate saying goodbye to friends and family that we love, but as a believer, our goodbyes are not like unbelievers’ goodbyes. Yes, we have tears, yes, we have many emotions, but we also know that there is a unique bond through Christ. Circumstances, distance, and death cannot separate us because we are in the love of God. Our paths might be very different, yet in the end, we all summit if we are trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. Do you trust in Christ alone for the salvation of all your sins? Or have you strayed from believing only in God because of the teaching of wolves? Believe in God and believe in His Word. Ask God’s Spirit for help to discern….God never disappoints.
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
To contact Kaye Dee, leave a comment, message us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org