Third Missionary Journey

Acts 18:23-21:16

1823Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples. 24Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures. 25This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
27When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
191While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples. 2He said to them,

PAUL

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?

They said to him,

BELIEVERS IN EPHESUS

No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.

3He said,

PAUL

Into what then were you baptized?

They said,

BELIEVERS IN EPHESUS

Into John’s baptism.

4Paul said,

PAUL

John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus.

5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied. 7They were about twelve men in all. 8He entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for a period of three months, reasoning and persuading about the things concerning God’s Kingdom.
9But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10This continued for two years, so that all those who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
11God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out. 13But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying,

SEVEN SONS OF SCEVA

We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.

14There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this.
15The evil spirit answered,

A DEMON

Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?

16The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted their price, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.* 20So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.
21Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying,

PAUL

After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

22Having sent into Macedonia two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. 23About that time there arose no small stir concerning the Way. 24For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen, 25whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said,

DEMETRIUS OF EPHESUS

Sirs, you know that by this business we have our wealth. 26You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands. 27Not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.

28When they heard this they were filled with anger, and cried out, saying,

THE CRAFTSMEN OF EPHESUS

Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!

29The whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel. 30When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples didn’t allow him. 31Certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to venture into the theater. 32Some therefore cried one thing, and some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most of them didn’t know why they had come together. 33They brought Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made a defense to the people. 34But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice for a time of about two hours cried out,

THE PEOPLE OF EPHESUS

Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!

35When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said,

THE MAYOR OF EPHESUS

You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? 36Seeing then that these things can’t be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash. 37For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. 38If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another. 39But if you seek anything about other matters, it will be settled in the regular assembly. 40For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning today’s riot, there being no cause. Concerning it, we wouldn’t be able to give an account of this commotion.

41When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
201After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia. 2When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece. 3When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. 4These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. 5But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas. 6We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
7On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight. 8There were many lights in the upper room where we* were gathered together. 9A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third floor, and was taken up dead. 10Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said,

PAUL

Don’t be troubled, for his life is in him.

11When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed. 12They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.
13But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene. 15Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus. 16For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
17From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly. 18When they had come to him, he said to them,

PAUL

You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time, 19serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews; 20how I didn’t shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.* 22Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there; 23except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me. 24But these things don’t count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.
25Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching God’s Kingdom, will see my face no more. 26Therefore I testify to you today that I am clean from the blood of all men, 27for I didn’t shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and* God which he purchased with his own blood. 29For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn’t cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears. 32Now, brothers,* I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I coveted no one’s silver, or gold, or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me. 35In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

36When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
211When we had departed from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail. 3When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo. 4Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5When those days were over, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way until we were out of the city. Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed. 6After saying goodbye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
7When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day. 8On the next day, we, who were Paul’s companions, departed, and came to Caesarea.
We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11Coming to us, and taking Paul’s belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said,

AGABUS THE PROPHET

Thus says the Holy Spirit: ‘So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’

12When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered,

PAUL

What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying,

BELIEVERS IN CAESAREA

The Lord’s will be done.

15After these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay.

*Acts 19:19 The 50,000 pieces of silver here probably referred to 50,000 drachmas. If so, the value of the burned books was equivalent to about 160 man-years of wages for agricultural laborers
*Acts 20:8 TR reads “they” instead of “we”
*Acts 20:21 TR adds “Christ”
*Acts 20:28 TR, NU omit “the Lord and”
*Acts 20:32 The word for “brothers” here and where the context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”

OPENING THE WORD

  • What stands out to you in this passage?
  • What truths do you gain about the character of God?
  • What truths do you gain about men and women?
  • What changes are you motivated to make in light of this passage?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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