“After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.” (Acts 20:1–6)
After the riot in Ephesus was quelled, Paul spoke some encouraging words to the believers in Ephesus, said his farewells and departed once again for Macedonia. Today’s text begins to cover more than a year in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul.
After the apostle traveled through Macedonia and encouraged the believers, Paul then arrived in Greece. Staying three months, he was all set to set sail for Syria but a plot by the unbelieving Jews against him compelled him to return to Syria, and ultimately Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-3) by land through Macedonia.
It was at this point in his historical chronicle, that Luke mentions several of Paul’s traveling companions and fellows missionaries. These included Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, Aristarchus and Secundus who belonged to the Thessalonian church, Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, along with the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus.
It is when Luke recorded Paul’s arrival at Troas, that he reinserted himself into the historical narrative. We know this by the change in the personal pronouns to “us” and “we.” He wrote, “These (referring to the previously mentioned companions of Paul) went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.”
Luke’s mention of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread indicated that the Passover Celebration was completed. It also means that the events Luke recorded occurred during the spring of the year. Probably A.D. 55.
It is at this time that Paul wrote his second canonical epistle to the church in Corinth. When next we meet, we will begin a survey examination of 2 Corinthians.
As Paul ministered with his beloved companions, take encouragement that so do you. None of us is an island but is in need of others to assist us and we to assist them in serving the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!