Acts 20:1-6 :
After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia. When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece. When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
This is an interesting passage because it highlights the fact that Luke was a real historian. If an historian wishes to hide inaccuracies, it is a good idea to remove details from the record. In this case, we see that Luke includes a significant amount of detail. This helps researchers determine the accuracy of what is written. He provides exact names of both people and places. Not only that, he provides some durations of time that Paul was in certain places, sometimes down to the number of days.
We also learn from this passage that Luke was traveling with Paul because he uses the word “us.” This clue tells us that we are listening to a first-hand, eye-witness account of history. I am told that this is not common among other documents that record supernatural and prophetic events like Luke does in his records. Luke also is not afraid to provide the details of Paul’s troubles. If Luke was merely trying to promote Christianity, it would probably make more sense for him to leave out the times of trouble and emphasize the good times. Instead, Luke simply spoke the truth.
It is important for us today to pay attention to pastors and teachers that speak the truth instead of gathering around ourselves those who will tell us how we can prosper in this earthly life. Righteousness is more important than earthly prosperity because the real problem we have isn’t a lack of money or valuables, it is a lack of peace with our Creator. A real teacher will tell you how to gain this peace and how to do what God really wants. Some troubles are unavoidable in this world, but it is possible to learn how to serve God anyway, and this will be rewarded richly after this life is over.