Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. (Acts 20:17-25)
Paul had important things to say:
For three years he had preached and taught the Ephesians with strong words of testimony that they must follow the liberation path offered by Jesus.
Then he explained how the Holy Spirit kept on speaking to him with strong words saying that he must move on; he must complete elsewhere the work given him by Jesus – the same work of the strong preaching of the good news – despite troubles that lie ahead.
So now he will be leaving them to go to Jerusalem led by the Spirit.
Read in the next post how Paul then spoke strong words of instruction and warning to the Ephesian elders before leaving them for ever .