Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. As he left, however, he said, “I will come back later, God willing.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. The next stop was at the port of Caesarea. From there he went up and visited the church at Jerusalem and then went back to Antioch. After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went back through Galatia and Phrygia, visiting and strengthening all the believers.Acts 18:18-23
Now we leave Corinth and we leave the royal “we”. Notice the rapidity with which Luke records the journeyings from Corinth onward. Paul has spent some considerable time in Corinth. We would expect him now to spend a similar amount of time in Ephesus given the fact he has written a significant letter to the Ephesians. But you can see in these short six verses, Luke has taken us from Corinth and Cenchrea then on to Ephesus, Caesarea, Jerusalem and back to Antioch, and from Antioch back to Galatia and Phrygia again. Six cities and two regions all in 6 verses. Less than a city or region per verse. Why has Luke suddenly picked up the pace of the narrative to this degree? Especially when he tells us virtually nothing of what happened in these places. Many Bibles give a title like “Paul Returns to Antioch” to this section. But it is hardly accurate because Antioch is not in focus. The only focus on Antioch is that the name is mentioned twice and assumedly there must have been a short pause there, but we would never know that from what Luke has written.
Notice also the statement concerning Paul shaving his head to mark the end of a vow. Was this important or was this just a passing comment of Luke’s that carries no weight? Much has been said about this innocuous comment. See what you can make of all this before we move on to look at Luke’s “Meanwhile back in Ephesus”.
Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.Acts 18:24-28
There, I have given you a nice short Gem leading up to Rosh Hashanah.
I am the one who made you. I know what you’ve got in you because I put it there. I know what you haven’t got because I left it out.God
It is so easy to get distracted and not fully be in the moment. It’s an art to learn to STOP and experience God in the present.Fred Dores
Confidence is silent; insecurities are loud.Ian Vail
When the plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest it result in nonsense.Ian Vail