Welcome to Lesson 19 in your Bible Study of Acts. In this lesson we want to take a closer look at Acts 20 & 21 and Paul’s final voyage to Jerusalem.
From the perspective of the book of Acts as a whole, chapter 20 marks an important transition in Paul’s life.
He is traveling from Ephesus to Jerusalem but in a very symbolic these two cities represent Paul’s transition from full time missionary to full time prisoner.
From this point forward, Paul will no longer plant churches. He will no longer preach the gospel as a free man. Rather, he will be imprisoned and face many trials on his ultimate journey to Rome.
It’s important to note a few things before proceeding.
In Acts 19:21, Paul had already purposed to travel to Jerusalem. He was interested in traveling to Rome, something that he confirmed in his letter to the Romans (Rom 1:15; 15:24, 28). He was supposed to head straight to Jerusalem but he got wind of a plot to take his life and thus decided to return via Acaya and Macedonia. Paul planted churches in these regions on his second missionary journey including Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea.
Paul’s trip to Jerusalem is an extensive narrative (Acts 20:1-21:17) and includes five distinct episodes:
Read the story of Eutychus in Acts 20:7-12
There are three stories in the Old Testament and six in the New Testament including this one in Troas. Can you name them all and who performed the miracle? What does the rarity of this event say about Paul?
Acts 20:17-38, represents Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders. In tone, mood and content, it is a kind of verbal last will and testament from the apostle to the leaders of the church.
Read Acts 20:17-38