Thursday, June 21, 2012
Paul has now set his heart on returning to Jerusalem before Pentecost and makes a series of “farewell” stops on the way. He returns to Macedonia and Greece and stays at Troas for about a week. 20:7 and following has the odd story of Eutychus who falls asleep while Paul was doing an all night preaching/teaching session. He falls out a 3rd story window and appears to be dead below but when Paul takes him by the hand he is OK and Paul goes up stairs and preaches through the rest of the night.
Paul meets with the Ephesian Elders and says a long and hearty good bye. There is something in Paul that has him realize that he is not going to pass this way again. He is going up to Jerusalem and he is well aware that there will be trouble for him. He also has a dream of going to Spain on his way to Rome (remember that was the purpose of the Romans letter -- see Acts 16 of Romans). It is difficult to say whether Paul believes his life is in danger (and therefore won’t return to Ephesus) or whether this mission dream of traveling to Rome has him realize he will not likely pass through Ephesus. The story, as Luke tells it, leaves room for both interpretations.