Bible: Acts 18:23-21:14

18:23 After he spent 1  some time there, Paul left and went through the region of Galatia 2  and Phrygia, 3  strengthening all the disciples.

Apollos Begins His Ministry

18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephesus. 4  He was an eloquent speaker, 5  well-versed 6  in the scriptures. 18:25 He had been instructed in 7  the way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm 8  he spoke and taught accurately the facts 9  about Jesus, although he knew 10  only the baptism of John. 18:26 He began to speak out fearlessly 11  in the synagogue, 12  but when Priscilla and Aquila 13  heard him, they took him aside 14  and explained the way of God to him more accurately. 18:27 When Apollos 15  wanted to cross over to Achaia, 16  the brothers encouraged 17  him 18  and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he 19  assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, 18:28 for he refuted the Jews vigorously 20  in public debate, 21  demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ 22  was Jesus. 23 

Disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus

19:1 While 24  Apollos was in Corinth, 25  Paul went through the inland 26  regions 27  and came to Ephesus. 28  He 29  found some disciples there 30  19:2 and said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” 31  They replied, 32  “No, we have not even 33  heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 19:3 So Paul 34  said, “Into what then were you baptized?” “Into John’s baptism,” they replied. 35  19:4 Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, 36  that is, in Jesus.” 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, 19:6 and when Paul placed 37  his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came 38  upon them, and they began to speak 39  in tongues and to prophesy. 40  19:7 (Now there were about twelve men in all.) 41 

Paul Continues to Minister at Ephesus

19:8 So Paul 42  entered 43  the synagogue 44  and spoke out fearlessly 45  for three months, addressing 46  and convincing 47  them about the kingdom of God. 48  19:9 But when 49  some were stubborn 50  and refused to believe, reviling 51  the Way 52  before the congregation, he left 53  them and took the disciples with him, 54  addressing 55  them every day 56  in the lecture hall 57  of Tyrannus. 19:10 This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, 58  both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord. 59 

The Seven Sons of Sceva

19:11 God was performing extraordinary 60  miracles by Paul’s hands, 19:12 so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body 61  were brought 62  to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 63  19:13 But some itinerant 64  Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name 65  of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by 66  evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn 67  you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 19:14 (Now seven sons of a man named 68  Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) 69  19:15 But the evil spirit replied to them, 70 I know about Jesus 71  and I am acquainted with 72  Paul, but who are you? 73  19:16 Then the man who was possessed by 74  the evil spirit jumped on 75  them and beat them all into submission. 76  He prevailed 77  against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. 19:17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, 78  both Jews and Greeks; fear came over 79  them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. 80  19:18 Many of those who had believed came forward, 81  confessing and making their deeds known. 82  19:19 Large numbers 83  of those who had practiced magic 84  collected their books 85  and burned them up in the presence of everyone. 86  When 87  the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. 88  19:20 In this way the word of the Lord 89  continued to grow in power 90  and to prevail. 91 

A Riot in Ephesus

19:21 Now after all these things had taken place, 92  Paul resolved 93  to go to Jerusalem, 94  passing through Macedonia 95  and Achaia. 96  He said, 97 After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 98  19:22 So after sending 99  two of his assistants, 100  Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, 101  he himself stayed on for a while in the province of Asia. 102 

19:23 At 103  that time 104  a great disturbance 105  took place concerning the Way. 106  19:24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines 107  of Artemis, 108  brought a great deal 109  of business 110  to the craftsmen. 19:25 He gathered 111  these 112  together, along with the workmen in similar trades, 113  and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity 114  comes from this business. 19:26 And you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded 115  and turned away 116  a large crowd, 117  not only in Ephesus 118  but in practically all of the province of Asia, 119  by saying 120  that gods made by hands are not gods at all. 121  19:27 There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, 122  but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis 123  will be regarded as nothing, 124  and she whom all the province of Asia 125  and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.” 126 

19:28 When 127  they heard 128  this they became enraged 129  and began to shout, 130 Great is Artemis 131  of the Ephesians! 19:29 The 132  city was filled with the uproar, 133  and the crowd 134  rushed to the theater 135  together, 136  dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 19:30 But when Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, 137  the disciples would not let him. 19:31 Even some of the provincial authorities 138  who were his friends sent 139  a message 140  to him, urging him not to venture 141  into the theater. 19:32 So then some were shouting one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had met together. 142  19:33 Some of the crowd concluded 143  it was about 144  Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. 145  Alexander, gesturing 146  with his hand, was wanting to make a defense 147  before the public assembly. 148  19:34 But when they recognized 149  that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, 150 Great is Artemis 151  of the Ephesians!” for about two hours. 152  19:35 After the city secretary 153  quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person 154  is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper 155  of the temple of the great Artemis 156  and of her image that fell from heaven? 157  19:36 So because these facts 158  are indisputable, 159  you must keep quiet 160  and not do anything reckless. 161  19:37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers 162  nor blasphemers of our goddess. 163  19:38 If then Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint 164  against someone, the courts are open 165  and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another there. 166  19:39 But if you want anything in addition, 167  it will have to be settled 168  in a legal assembly. 169  19:40 For 170  we are in danger of being charged with rioting 171  today, since there is no cause we can give to explain 172  this disorderly gathering.” 173  19:41 After 174  he had said 175  this, 176  he dismissed the assembly. 177 

Paul Travels Through Macedonia and Greece

20:1 After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging 178  them and saying farewell, 179  he left to go to Macedonia. 180  20:2 After he had gone through those regions 181  and spoken many words of encouragement 182  to the believers there, 183  he came to Greece, 184  20:3 where he stayed 185  for three months. Because the Jews had made 186  a plot 187  against him as he was intending 188  to sail 189  for Syria, he decided 190  to return through Macedonia. 191  20:4 Paul 192  was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, 193  Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, 194  Gaius 195  from Derbe, 196  and Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 197  20:5 These had gone on ahead 198  and were waiting for us in Troas. 199  20:6 We 200  sailed away from Philippi 201  after the days of Unleavened Bread, 202  and within five days 203  we came to the others 204  in Troas, 205  where we stayed for seven days. 20:7 On the first day 206  of the week, when we met 207  to break bread, Paul began to speak 208  to the people, and because he intended 209  to leave the next day, he extended 210  his message until midnight. 20:8 (Now there were many lamps 211  in the upstairs room where we were meeting.) 212  20:9 A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, 213  was sinking 214  into a deep sleep while Paul continued to speak 215  for a long time. Fast asleep, 216  he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 20:10 But Paul went down, 217  threw himself 218  on the young man, 219  put his arms around him, 220  and said, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive! 221  20:11 Then Paul 222  went back upstairs, 223  and after he had broken bread and eaten, he talked with them 224  a long time, until dawn. Then he left. 20:12 They took the boy home alive and were greatly 225  comforted.

The Voyage to Miletus

20:13 We went on ahead 226  to the ship and put out to sea 227  for Assos, 228  intending 229  to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. 230  He 231  himself was intending 232  to go there by land. 233  20:14 When he met us in Assos, 234  we took him aboard 235  and went to Mitylene. 236  20:15 We set sail 237  from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. 238  The next day we approached 239  Samos, 240  and the day after that we arrived at Miletus. 241  20:16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus 242  so as not to spend time 243  in the province of Asia, 244  for he was hurrying 245  to arrive in Jerusalem, 246  if possible, 247  by the day of Pentecost. 20:17 From Miletus 248  he sent a message 249  to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him. 250 

20:18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived 251  the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot 252  in the province of Asia, 253  20:19 serving the Lord with all humility 254  and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots 255  of the Jews. 20:20 You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming 256  to you anything that would be helpful, 257  and from teaching you publicly 258  and from house to house, 20:21 testifying 259  to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 260  20:22 And now, 261  compelled 262  by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem 263  without knowing what will happen to me there, 264  20:23 except 265  that the Holy Spirit warns 266  me in town after town 267  that 268  imprisonment 269  and persecutions 270  are waiting for me. 20:24 But I do not consider my life 271  worth anything 272  to myself, so that 273  I may finish my task 274  and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news 275  of God’s grace.

20:25And now 276  I know that none 277  of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom 278  will see me 279  again. 20:26 Therefore I declare 280  to you today that I am innocent 281  of the blood of you all. 282  20:27 For I did not hold back from 283  announcing 284  to you the whole purpose 285  of God. 20:28 Watch out for 286  yourselves and for all the flock of which 287  the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, 288  to shepherd the church of God 289  that he obtained 290  with the blood of his own Son. 291  20:29 I know that after I am gone 292  fierce wolves 293  will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Even from among your own group 294  men 295  will arise, teaching perversions of the truth 296  to draw the disciples away after them. 20:31 Therefore be alert, 297  remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning 298  each one of you with tears. 20:32 And now I entrust 299  you to God and to the message 300  of his grace. This message 301  is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 20:33 I have desired 302  no one’s silver or gold or clothing. 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine 303  provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. 20:35 By all these things, 304  I have shown you that by working in this way we must help 305  the weak, 306  and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ 307 

20:36 When 308  he had said these things, he knelt down 309  with them all and prayed. 20:37 They all began to weep loudly, 310  and hugged 311  Paul and kissed him, 312  20:38 especially saddened 313  by what 314  he had said, that they were not going to see him 315  again. Then they accompanied 316  him to the ship.

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

21:1 After 317  we 318  tore ourselves away 319  from them, we put out to sea, 320  and sailing a straight course, 321  we came to Cos, 322  on the next day to Rhodes, 323  and from there to Patara. 324  21:2 We found 325  a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, 326  went aboard, 327  and put out to sea. 328  21:3 After we sighted Cyprus 329  and left it behind on our port side, 330  we sailed on to Syria and put in 331  at Tyre, 332  because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located 333  the disciples, we stayed there 334  seven days. They repeatedly told 335  Paul through the Spirit 336  not to set foot 337  in Jerusalem. 338  21:5 When 339  our time was over, 340  we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied 341  us outside of the city. After 342  kneeling down on the beach and praying, 343  21:6 we said farewell 344  to one another. 345  Then 346  we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 347  21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre 348  and arrived at Ptolemais, 349  and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left 350  and came to Caesarea, 351  and entered 352  the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, 353  and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried 354  daughters who prophesied.) 355 

21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, 356  a prophet named Agabus 357  came down from Judea. 21:11 He came 358  to us, took 359  Paul’s belt, 360  tied 361  his own hands and feet with it, 362  and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over 363  to the Gentiles.’ 21:12 When we heard this, both we and the local people 364  begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking 365  my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, 366  but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, 367  we said no more except, 368 The Lord’s will be done.” 369 

NET Bible Study Environment