When it was all over, Paul sent for the believers a and encouraged them. Then he said good-bye and left for Macedonia.
Along the way, he encouraged the believers in all the towns he passed through. Then he traveled down to Greece,
where he stayed for three months. He was preparing to sail back to Syria when he discovered a plot by some Jews against his life, so he decided to return through Macedonia.
Several men were traveling with him. They were Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus; Aristarchus and Secundus, from Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus, who were from the province of Asia.
They went ahead and waited for us at Troas.
As soon as the Passover season b ended, we boarded a ship at Philippi in Macedonia and five days later arrived in Troas, where we stayed a week.
On the first day of the week, we gathered to observe the Lord's Supper. c Paul was preaching; and since he was leaving the next day, he talked until midnight.
The upstairs room where we met was lighted with many flickering lamps.
As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he sank into a deep sleep and fell three stories to his death below.
Paul went down, bent over him, and took him into his arms. "Don't worry," he said, "he's alive!"
Then they all went back upstairs and ate the Lord's Supper together. d And Paul continued talking to them until dawn; then he left.
Meanwhile, the young man was taken home unhurt, and everyone was greatly relieved.
Paul went by land to Assos, where he had arranged for us to join him, and we went on ahead by ship.
He joined us there and we sailed together to Mitylene.
The next day we passed the island of Kios. The following day, we crossed to the island of Samos. And a day later we arrived at Miletus.
Paul had decided against stopping at Ephesus this time because he didn't want to spend further time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, if possible, for the Festival of Pentecost.
But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come down to meet him.
When they arrived he declared, "You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now
I have done the Lord's work humbly -- yes, and with tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.
Yet I never shrank from telling you the truth, either publicly or in your homes.
I have had one message for Jews and Gentiles alike -- the necessity of turning from sin and turning to God, and of faith in our Lord Jesus.
"And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, e not knowing what awaits me,
except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.
But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus -- the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.
"And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again.
Let me say plainly that I have been faithful. No one's damnation can be blamed on me, f27
for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants for you.
"And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's flock -- his church, purchased with his blood -- over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. g29
I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.
Even some of you will distort the truth in order to draw a following.
Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you -- my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
"And now I entrust you to God and the word of his grace -- his message that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
"I have never coveted anyone's money or fine clothing.
You know that these hands of mine have worked to pay my own way, and I have even supplied the needs of those who were with me.
And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them.
They wept aloud as they embraced him in farewell,
sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him down to the ship.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)