Jesus’ Life: Chapter 21 – Paul’s Missionary Journeys
The focus of Paul’s first and second missionary journeys was to spread the Gospel of Jesus to Jews and Gentiles beyond Jerusalem, establish Churches and appoint disciples to take charge.
In contrast, the purpose of his third journey was pastoral in nature, revisiting established Churches and “strengthening all the disciples”. He did so through his personal guidance and numerous pastoral letters. (Acts 18:23)
Paul’s third journey lasted approximately three and a half years from perhaps, late summer AD53 to Pentecost AD57.
Summary of Places Visited
- Paul settled in Ephesus for more than two years, preaching, performing miracles and building the church. (Acts 19:1-22)
- Silversmiths in Ephesus rioted and persecuted Paul’s companions but the city clerk intervened. (Acts 19:23-41)
- On their way to Jerusalem, Paul and his companions:
– revisited the churches of Greece and Asia Minor;
– raised Eutychus at Troas back to life;
– spoke at Miletus with the elders from Ephesus. (Acts 20:1-38)
Short Story: Paul Baptises Twelve of John The Baptist’s Disciples
While Paul was in Ephesus, he encountered twelve of John the Baptist’s disciples living as he had preached – fasting, praying and alms-giving.
When Paul asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”. (Acts 19:2)
Paul explained to them how when they were baptised, John was preparing them for the coming of Jesus through a baptism of repentance. Paul then placed his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit, enabling them “to speak in tongues and to prophesy”. (Acts 19:6)
Short Story: The Seven Sons of Sceva
When a group of false Jewish exorcists, the seven sons of Sceva, attempted to remove an evil spirit from a man in the name of the Lord Jesus and Paul saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches [to depart],” the spirit replied, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-14)
The possessed man then set about beating the seven sons who “fled from [the] house naked and wounded”. (Acts 19:16)
Many who previously believed or practised magic, confessed and repented; they also gathered their books and burned them in public.
Short Story: Paul Raises Eutychus Back To Life
In Troas, on the first day of the week, the disciples met to “Break Bread,” equivalent to our today’s Sunday Mass.
During Paul’s long speech (he was due to depart the following day) a young man named Eutychus was sitting on the window-ledge of the third floor. He went into a deep sleep, slipped over, fell to the ground floor and was “picked up dead”. (Acts 20:9)
Paul went downstairs, embraced and prayed over him, and added the assuring words to those around, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive!” (Acts 20:10)
Paul then returned upstairs, “Broke Bread” and continued preaching, knowing his prayer was already answered and Eutychus had been raised back to life. (Acts 18:24 – 20:38)
At least two great miracles happened on the day Paul preached at Troas; the raising of Eutychus back to life and the Breaking of Bread.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to your great works here on earth. May every moment of today be another celebration of your immense love for me. Amen.
Prayer: The Sick
Lord Jesus Christ,
you bore our sufferings and carried our sorrows.
In order to show us clearly,
the value of human weakness and patience,
graciously hear our prayers for the sick.
Grant that those who are weighed down,
with pain and other afflictions of illness,
may realise that they are among the chosen ones,
whom you call blessed.
Help them to understand,
that they are united with you in your sufferings,
for the salvation of the world. Amen.