Acts 20:36-37, 21:1-4 (NKJV) And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him…Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo. And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.

This is a tender meeting between Paul and the elders of the church in Ephesus at Miletus. These Ephesian brothers loves Paul and he loves them. It is difficult for them to let Paul go, because they knew that they will not see Paul again in this life time. They bid Paul and his companions a touching farewell before they boarded a ship for the voyage that will bring them back to Israel. The church in Ephesus was the last of Paul’s final three missionary journeys. He is returning to Israel now. Paul and his companions boarded a ship in Miletus for their long journey across the Mediterranean to Israel. They sailed down the southern coast of Asia Minor to Petara. Stopping first on the island of Cos, where they spent the night. Then the following day they continued southeast to the island of Rhodes. Then from there they sailed east to Petara, a seaport of Lycia on the southern coast of Asia Minor. There they changed ships and sailed pass the island of Cyprus to Tyre on the seacoast north of Caesarea, closer to the coast of Israel in what was ancient Phoenicia, which is Lebanon today, on the coastal strip of Syria of which Tyre was one of the principal cities. Since the ship was to unload her cargo there, Paul and his companions looked up the Christian believers there in Tyre and stayed with them seven days. It was during this time that these Christian brothers told Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem unless he is prepared to make the required sacrifice for trouble awaits him there. Because of Paul’s love for his Jewish countrymen and his greater love for the Lord, Paul is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. He is perfectly ready and willing to lay down his life for the Lord Jesus Christ. And Paul did so, but not before he was able to finish his course (2 Timothy 4:7), not until he had completely shared the gospel to Jews, Gentiles, and kings. Not until God’s will for his life was complete. When Paul completed his course, he gladly laid down his life for God’s name’s sake, just as he was told to do by the Lord (see Acts 9:15-16).

God Bless and have a great day in God’s Word.