Acts 20

As witnesses of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we ought not to hold our lives of any account to ourselves in comparison with accomplishing our course and declaring the whole counsel of God. Being ourselves made pure by the blood of the Son of Man, it behooves us to make ourselves pure from the blood of the sons of men.

1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,

3 And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.

4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

5 These going before tarried for us at Troas.

6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

13 ¶ 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.

14 And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.

15 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.

16 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.

17 ¶ And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

18 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,

19 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:

20 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,

21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

24 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.

25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

28 ¶ 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.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

32 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.

33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.

34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

35 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.

36 ¶ And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,

38 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.

Acts 20:1-12 – ​A Messenger of Truth and Life

   The Second Epistle to the Corinthians should be read with the introductory verses of this chapter, as it reveals the Apostle’s inner mind at this time. He seems to have been less impressed with the imminent peril from which he had been rescued, and more solicitous as to the condition of the church at Corinth, to which he had addressed his first Epistle during the early days of his Ephesian ministry.
   Into how small a compass, Acts 20:3, the evangelist crowds the three months’ ministry in Greece, where he visited the scenes of his memorable first journey. In a few lines he enumerates the companions of his return journey, and before we are well aware we are back again in Troas and on our way to Jerusalem.
   Notice that reference to the breaking of bread on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7. This proves that the primitive Church was adopting the first day of the week for its characteristic meal; and as the Gentile element became predominant, it is easy to see how gradually and inevitably Sunday superseded Saturday as the rest day. See also Colossians 2:16. Can we not imagine the theme of that talk which lasted till dawn! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Acts 20:13-27 – ​A Parting Message

   The vessel had to stop at Miletus and Paul sent word to the Ephesian elders, urging them to come and see him. He spent the day in their company, and before parting delivered this pathetic and helpful address. There are many incidental touches revealing the nature of his work in the great city, of which there is little or no mention elsewhere in the Acts. For instance, we were not aware of his tears and trials through the opposition of the Jews, Acts 20:19, nor of the labors of his toil-worn hands, Acts 20:34. We hardly realized that his ministry was not simply the public proclamation of the gospel, but a visitation from house to house as well, Acts 20:20.
   The Greek word in Acts 20:20, 27 for kept back and shunned is a nautical word which literally means “reefed up.” It was so natural for Paul to use a nautical word which he must have been hearing every day. But, notice how this heroic soul alludes to the lightness with which he held comfort and life, if only he might serve his Master perfectly, and fulfill in full measure his opportunities. How Paul loved that great word grace! It was his perpetual theme, and as we come to know ourselves better, and consider how little we have deserved of God, we also shall have but one theme. We are debtors to the sovereign grace of God, and have nothing to pay. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Acts 20:28-38 – ​Commended to God

   In Acts 20:28 the elder, whether presbyter or bishop, is not only put over the flock, but he is in it like the rest, needing redemption through the same precious blood. Notice also that remarkable expression, the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood, Acts 20:28. It clearly indicates Paul’s view of the deity of our Lord. 
   The prediction of Acts 20:30 was but too soon fulfilled, I Timothy 1:19-20. Tears are thrice mentioned in this short passage: tears of suffering, Acts 20:19; of pastoral anxiety, Acts 20:31; and of personal affection, Acts 20:37.
   The master builder was withdrawn before the edifice was completed, but he knew that God would continue, through other hands, to complete what he had begun, Acts 20:32. We are in the company of God’s heirs. Let us meditate on the word of His grace, as fellow-heirs with Christ and all His saints; let us enter into possession of our inheritance. In Acts 20:35 we have the only saying of our Lord in the New Testament which is not preserved in the Gospels. The blessedness applies to our Lord as well as to ourselves. Let us not think that he is tired of our requests. Every time we ask for anything that He can give us, we add to His blessedness, as well as to our own. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Acts 20:28—Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock.

​   There are many lessons in this verse.
   (1) The Christian worker must not neglect his own soul. He must take heed to himself, as well as to the flock. Our temptation is to neglect our close walk with God in our eagerness to save others.
   (2) The overseer, elder, or bishop, is set over the flock, but is also in it. So to the end of life the most eminent of God’s servants must remember that he is but a saved sinner, needing the blood and righteousness of Christ as much as the weakest of his flock; and he also must lie down in green pastures, and be led beside still waters.
   (3) The office of the minister is given by the Holy Ghost. It is He who lays on him the burden of souls, and equips him for his work. He, too, is willing to direct and use. How awful and solemn the responsibility! Woe be to us if we exercise our ministry only for the eye and ear of our fellow-men!
   (4) Notice that the Church is distinctly asserted to be God’s. “Feed the church of God.” We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. His by choice, by purchase, by the drawing of the Holy Ghost. We must get a right understanding of this doctrine of the Church, that she has been taken out of the world to be God’s peculiar possession and delight.
   (5) The purchase money of the Church is here said to be God’s own blood. It is a remarkable expression. It stands alone in the Word of God, but brings out very distinctly the thought that the entire Godhead achieved man’s redemption in the offering of the Cross. We are dear to God, and must give Him the benefit of his great expenditure! —Our Daily Homily