Ephesus is Paul's final church plant. He had in mind to revisit northern and southern Greece (Macedonia and Achaia) and then go on to Jerusalem and Rome. (Acts 19:21) This he eventually did, but under far different circumstances than he had dreamed about. First, he leaves Ephesus, reaches Troas and moves on to Greece. |
1) After the commotion died down, Paul sent for the [Ephesian] disciples and encouraged them before he left, [heading west] for Macedonia. | – The commotion died down at the amphitheater in Ephesus.
- Paul sent for the disciples because he was staying out of sight. |
2) And when he had traveled through those districts and had delivered many messages of encouragement, he went on [south] into Greece, | – Encouragement is a Divine part of the assembly time. Those leaders that skip it are not following the Scriptures.
- Paul may have visited Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea.
- 2 Corinthians was written at this time.
- Greece here is generally believed to describe Corinth. |
3) where he spent three months. Then, just as he was about to set sail for Syria, Paul discovered that a plot was being laid against him by the Jews, so he decided to return through Macedonia. | – The plan evidently was to return to Antioch of Syria, his "sending" church.
- Plots were a part of Paul's life. Luke has reported at least one before (Acts 9:24) and will report yet others. Paul lists these plots along with other opposition in 2 Cor. 11:26.
- The plan was probably to throw Paul overboard at sea, so he traveled by land to avoid trouble. |
4) The following men accompanied Paul as far as [the province of] Asia [where Troas was located]: Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, of Berea; Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus from [the province of] Asia, [seven in all]. | – While there are some differences among translations, it appears the group accompanied Paul to Philippi, then took a ship for Troas before Paul, Luke and...