Mirroring Christ – Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter- Acts 20:17-27

Paul is on his third missionary journey and has landed in Ephesus (modern day Turkey) but his desire is to go to Rome via Jerusalem. (19:21). He has made a substantial collection for the poor of Jerusalem and he wishes to give this to them. He sends his two helpers, Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia while he stayed on in Ephesus only to end up being mired in a riot due to his teaching.

As it happened, Paul’s teaching of faith in the “living God” caused a significant financial loss to those who made silver shrines of the goddess Artemis or Diana. The temple dedicated to this fertility goddess was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The riot that was stirred up by the artisans led by a man called Demetrius was enough to end Paul’s three year sojourn in Ephesus. Though the riot was quelled, Paul knew that it was best he left Ephesus for the safety of the Christians in Ephesus.

Artists image of the temple of Diana (Artemis)

Trouble had a way of following Paul even though he left Ephesus for Macedonia and then for Greece. Once again in In Greece as in Ephesus, he had to leave in haste because the Jews were plotting to kill him. So Paul makes a journey through Macedonia to Troas (Troy) from where he heads (via several cities) over five days and four ports to a place called Miletus which is about 78 kilometres (modern Google map) to Ephesus.

It is In Miletus that he calls for the elders of the Church to meet with him. There are several theories as to why he did not make the journey himself; for now it is sufficient to know that the community respected him enough for the elders to make their way to see him.

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