Bible: Acts 18:23-21:16
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.
20:25 “And 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
21:15 After these days we got ready 370 and started up 371 to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea 372 came along with us too, and brought us to the house 373 of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, 374 with whom we were to stay.