17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
I have been to what remains of ancient Miletus, the port. Today you can stand in the remains of the dock and look out onto not an ocean but a grassy field; the water has receded over the years. It would have taken the elders about three days to travel from Ephesus to Miletus; it was not convenient but they loved Paul that much. They remembered together in the way that old friends do and Paul spoke of his serving the Lord with great humility, tears and testing. The tears were real, the testing was real, (more than what Luke has chosen to share with us) and the humility was real. Paul lived at a time when humility was not considered a virtue. It is Christianity that would introduce to the world the virtue of humility, born out of the acts of the sacrificial love of its members (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring you rest right now