When the uproar was over, Paul sent for the believers and encouraged them. Then he said good-bye and left for Macedonia. While there, he encouraged the believers in all the towns he passed through. Then he traveled down to Greece, where he stayed for three months. He was preparing to sail back to Syria when he discovered a plot by some Jews against his life, so he decided to return through Macedonia. Several men were traveling with him. They were Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea; Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica; Gaius from Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. They went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. After the Passover ended, we boarded a ship at Philippi in Macedonia and five days later joined them in Troas, where we stayed a week.
(Acts of the Apostles 20:1-6 NLT)
Following the riot, Paul calls for the disciples of Jesus (not the 12 original, rather all believers) together to encourage them in their faith. He wanted to reinforce the things they had learned and he wanted to remind them to stand firm even in the midst of adversity. He had spent three years there teaching and preaching.
After saying his farewells, Paul went north and west through Macedonia. It was in this region that the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea were located. He, then, moves on west and south to the area of Greece. Here we find Corinth. As Paul was about to board a ship to sail back to Syria, he learned of a plot by certain Jews to kill him. He, then, decided to return the way he came, by land. He returns through the areas he had just came through.
Several comrades in the faith, godly men, joined him on his journey. They are listed. These men were from various places that the church had been established. I'm sure these men were of great help and encouragement to Paul as he strove to fulfill the great commission (to take the gospel to the ends of the earth). Paul's call and passion was to do just that no matter what the risks. His comrades were sent ahead to Troas. (Troas is located on the northwestern coast of Asia Minor (Turkey) and was a major port between Macedonia and Asia Minor). It isn't clear if they travelled by foot or if they boarded a ship and sailed to Troas. Nevertheless, they arrived in Troas ahead of Paul. Paul wasn't alone however.
The passage uses the words "us" and "we" (see Acts 20:5-6). The "us" and "we" refers to Luke and Paul. Luke is the stenographer (personal secretary) that is recording this history. Paul and Luke observed Passover where they were. (Passover was normally 24 hours. Immediately following was a seven day observance called "The Feast Of Unleavened Bread"). This memorial was to remember the act of placing the blood on the door posts in Goshen, Egypt when God sent a death angel through Egypt to kill the firstborn son of every house that didn't have the blood of a spotless lamb on it's door. (See Exodus 12). The children of Israel were spared because of the blood. Jesus is our Passover! (See Matthew 26 and I Peter 1:18-19). He, the spotless Lamb of God, has shed His blood and given His body for us. His blood and body were sinless! Those who have accepted Him into their lives as the substitution for their sins are under the protection of His blood. Death, eternal death, has no power over the children of God. Death, to God, is separation from Him. Our bodies are dying, but we are alive in Jesus eternally!!! Can I hear a shout of Praise!!! Amen!!! Because of our Passover, Jesus, we will get a new body when He returns as well. (See Ecclesiastes 12:7; Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:23,50-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
This took place in the spring of the year and it is possible that the time lapse at the point of separation was about 20 days. This includes the time that Paul had sent the comrades to Troas, the eight days of Passover and The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the five days of journey from Philippi to Troas by ship, and the seven days stay at Troas. More tomorrow. Don't miss it.
Rev. Curtis Norris