Day 121: Goodbye

Acts 20:25-27 :

“Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I didn’t shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

Paul breaks the news to these leaders that he won’t ever come back to Ephesus. This is a very special passage because we get to hear the last words of a missionary to those he was leaving to lead the Church in his absence. This was probably very difficult for these leaders to hear but this was God’s will and it was time for them to step up and take over the ministry.

The first thing we read is that Paul claimed that he “went about preaching the Kingdom of God.” I find this especially interesting because this is what Jesus did as well, but Jesus’ message sounded so different than Paul’s. I believe that this is because the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the presence of the Holy Spirit brought about a revelation of mysteries of the Kingdom that Jesus was not permitted to share yet by the Father. The world was to change and because the world was changed by the death and resurrection of the Savior, I believe the preaching of the Kingdom of God was expanded with the new information that Paul was called by Jesus to spread around. Paul’s message was a continuation of the message of Jesus and Paul testifies to this.

Paul felt the weight of his responsibility to the world to declare “the whole counsel of God.” Notice that Paul didn’t say, “now they all may have joy and glory from my message,” but that “I am clean from the blood of all men.” God is going to call for the blood of mankind in the future. Those who fail to heed the message of salvation that Paul preached will go to Hell, but it isn’t going to be Paul’s fault. The thing that concerned Paul wasn’t that people gained better lives by becoming Christians, but that that they were given the opportunity to avoid Hell. This is still the same issue facing all people today.