Paul’s Third Missionary Trip
Paul had met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, when he was in Corinth. They were tentmakers just as Paul was, so he stayed with them and they worked together. When he left Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla went with him. Paul went to Ephesus, then to Jerusalem, and next to the city of Antioch. After that, he went back and revisited cities where people had been converted on a previous trip.
Several interesting events took place in Ephesus where Paul spent 2 years and wrote 1 Corinthians. Paul found twelve men who had been baptized by John the Baptist and he told them they needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them and baptized them, the Holy Spirit came on them. They began to speak in foreign languages just as the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Also in Ephesus, miracles occurred when handkerchiefs that had been touched by Paul were taken to sick people. People were healed!
Paul had been preaching in Ephesus the message that there was only one true God and that idols were not gods at all. Many of the people in Ephesus worshiped the goddess, Diana (her Greek name was Artemis). There was a silversmith name Demetrius who made silver images of the goddess and sold them to people. Paul was a threat to his business. Demetrius stirred up the people against Paul and before long many people were shouting and the crowd was getting bigger. Paul wanted to talk to crowd but his friends discouraged him for fear he would get hurt. The shouting continued for over two hours. Finally, a city official gained the attention of the people and got them quiet. He said they had no reason to behave in such a manner and if Demetrius had a problem, he needed to take it to the courts. The crowd dispersed and Paul was unharmed.
After Paul Leaves Ephesus
When Paul traveled to Troas, he was preaching in an upstairs room. There was a young man in attendance named, Eutychus, who was sitting in an open window. As the sermon went on, Eutychus fell asleep and fell out of the window. He hit the ground and died. Paul went downstairs, put his arms around him, and Eutychus was brought back to life. Everyone was so happy to have him back again.
Paul continued his travels and in Miletus, he sent word for the elders of the church at Ephesus to meet him. When they gathered together, Paul reminded them how he had preached the truth to them. He knew that hardship and persecution awaited him in Jerusalem. Paul urged the people from Ephesus to be good shepherds in caring for the members of the church. Paul knelt down with them and prayed. They all cried and hugged as they knew they would not see Paul again.
Paul in Jerusalem
Paul went to Jerusalem where he was accused of teaching against the Jewish law and of defiling the temple. The whole city was in an uproar and Paul’s life was in danger. Paul was rescued by Roman soldiers who had to carry him away. Paul asked to speak to the crowd. But Paul made the Jewish crowd so angry that the Roman commander had Paul taken away to be flogged. Paul reminded the soldiers that he was a Roman citizen and it was illegal to flog a Roman citizen.
The next day the Roman commander took Paul to the Jewish religious leaders. The leaders began fighting because they disagreed about what they should do with Paul. People plotted to kill Paul, but his nephew heard about their plans. He told the commander and to prevent any harm to happen, Paul was taken to Caesarea under armed guard. Paul arrived safely.
MAP OF PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY TRIP
Main route: Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Israel
Cities/places: 2700 miles
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY TRIP?
Worship for July and August will focus on five of Paul’s letters as part of this journey.