Understanding Acts | Travels | Acts 21.1-6 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Apr 26, 2023

“After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.” Acts 21.1-6

Paul’s travels near the end of his life consisted of these basic tenants — 1) he hopped on a ship, 2) landed in a few different cities/countries, 3) encouraged the believers in that location, 4) was uplifted by those believers to be careful about his next stop, 5) shared a meaningful goodbye, and 6) moved on. Whereas Jesus traveled by foot, donkey and boat, Paul traveled often by ship across oceans. The scope of Paul’s reach took him into a must wider and vaster region for ministry and evangelism.

Jesus limited himself to Israel, except for when he was very young and his family escaped to Egypt from Herod. But Paul went to what was known as “the whole world”. He went into many different nations, primarily occupied by the Roman Empire of the time, and to dozens of cities. His status as a Roman citizen allowed him to travel freely, with without too much difficulty, across thousands of miles, taking the gospel to a huge region of the world. And from there, the gospel would spread.

I doubt Paul knew that his reach would include almost every part of the globe. Jesus certainly understood and could see the strategy, but Paul was simply being faithful, led by the Holy Spirit. He pressed on, was relentless in his push, was without excuse for redlining his work and God’s mission. Paul could never have known that what he carried from Christ and those early disciples would become a worldwide movement saving billions of people across time, space and history.

John Wesley said, “The world is my parish.” Acts 1.8 says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Our work and mission is not only to minister to those before us but to those we encounter across the street, through the city and even perhaps around the earth. Whether we have the opportunity to travel into other nations or simply remain within our own part of the world, we are led by the Holy Spirit who can use us to pass on the message to others around us. And today with the wonders of technology, something that I write today and reach a soul across the world in a matter of seconds.

And so, to echo Paul in 1 Corinthians 2.2, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” This is our message, that Christ suffered, died and was raised to new life, and that through him we might have redemption of sins. Let this be our core message so that the world might know Jesus and find salvation in his name.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for this day that you have given. Even when we face difficulty, you are with us. Strengthen us so that we might love and strengthen others. Allow us to walk in newness of life but not to ignore the poor, the widow or the orphan. Help us follow the lead of your Spirit to take the hope of Christ to the ends of the earth. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen