Acts 20:17–21:14

Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders

17 And from Miletus he sent word* to Ephesus and* summoned the elders of the church. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them, “You know from the first day on which I set foot in Asiae how I was the whole time with you—19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews—20 how I did not shrink from proclaiming to you anything that would be profitable, and from teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks with respect to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now behold, bound by the Spirit I am traveling to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,f 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in town after town, saying that bonds and persecutions await me. 24 But I consider my* life as worth nothingg to myself, in order to finish my mission and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

25 “And now behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about proclaiming the kingdom, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you on this very day that I am guiltless of the blood of all of you,* 27 for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God which he obtained through the blood of his own Son.h 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And from among you yourselves men will arise, speaking perversions of the truthi in order to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you* with tears.

32 “And now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you* up and to give you* the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have desired no one’s silver or gold or clothing! 34 You yourselves know that these hands served to meet* my needs and the needs of* those who were with me. 35 I have shown you with respect to all things that by* working hard in this way it is necessary to help those who are in need, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”j

36 And when he* had said these things, he fell to his knees and* prayed with them all. 37 And there was considerable weeping by all, and huggingk Paul, they kissed him, 38 especially distressed at the statement that he had said, that they were going to see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

Paul Travels on to Jerusalem

21 And it happened that after we tore ourselves away* from them, we put out to sea, and* running a straight course we came to Cos and on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And finding a ship that was crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and* put out to sea. And after we* sighted Cyprus and left it behind on the port side,a we sailed to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its* cargo there. And we stayed there seven days after we* found the disciples, who kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. And it happened that when our days were over, we departed and* went on our way, while* all of them accompanied us, together with their* wives and children, as far as outside the city. And after* falling to our knees on the beach and* praying, we said farewell to one another and embarked in the ship, and they returned to their own homes.

And when* we had completed the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. And after we* greeted the brothers, we stayed one day with them. And on the next day we departed and* came to Caesarea, and entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and* stayed with him. (Now this man hadb four virgin daughters who prophesied.)

10 And while we* were staying there* many days, a certain prophet namedc Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And he came to us and took Paul’s belt. Tying up his own feet and hands, he said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will deliver him* into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ” 12 And when we heard these things, both we and the local residents urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus!” 14 And because* he would not be persuaded, we remained silent, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

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