Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
And when they came to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time-
serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews-
and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house.
I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.
"And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there,
except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me.
But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my coursea and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.
"And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see my face again.
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocentb of everyone's blood,
for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God,c which He purchased with His own blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them.
Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.
"And nowd I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs, and for those who were with me.
In every way I've shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
After he said this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them.
There was a great deal of weeping by everyone. And embracing Paul, they kissed him,
grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.