Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship. (Acts 20:26-38)
In the second part of his speech Paul reminds the Ephesian elders in strong words how he spent 3 years tirelessly explaining the blessing of the gospel, and giving warning of the death-curse of rejecting what Jesus died to give them.
He goes on to say, ‘Now it is your duty. You must feed the church as guardians of the believers, like shepherds caring for sheep. Prepare them for future years when false teachers, like greedy wolves as it were, will seek to devour your flock.’
‘Remember my example’, he said, ‘I did not ask for money, but toiled for mine own living, rather than feed on you and live in comfort.’
It was an emotional farewell.