SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
20:13 We went on ahead to the ship and put out to sea for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. He himself was intending to go there by land. 14 When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went to Mitylene. 15 We set sail from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. The next day we approached Samos, and the day after that we arrived at Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so as not to spend time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. 17 From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him.
18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. 24 But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “And now I know that none of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom will see me again. 26 Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of you all. 27 For I did not hold back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. 29 I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them. 31 Therefore be 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. This message is able to build you up and give you an 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 of mine provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. 35 By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36 When he had said these things, he knelt down with them all and prayed. 37 They all began to weep loudly, and hugged Paul and kissed him, 38 especially saddened by what he had said, that they were not going to see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.