(17-38) Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
This is Paul’s farewell to the elders at Ephesus. He knows that they will never see one another again, and begins their last talk together by recounting the Gospel work that he did among them. Paul recalls how he served the Lord with humility, tears, and trials, and did not shrink from teaching about faith in Jesus the Christ despite persecution and plots from the Jews. He holds himself up as an example of how we should all follow Jesus – not expecting others to serve us, but serving the Lord by serving others.
Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, not knowing what would happen to him there. He had a feeling that imprisonment and afflictions awaited him, but this uncertainty did not scare or disturb Paul because his life was in God’s hand. Paul did not consider his own life dear to him. He was ready to die at any moment for the Gospel he preached. He was only focused on completing his course and finishing the ministry which he received from Jesus.
What is the course God has given us? Paul had his own. We each have our own. Let’s focus on finishing it well.
Favorite verse: (24) But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.