13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. Acts 20:13-16
Such was the life of an itinerant evangelist, constantly traveling from town to town. Paul went ahead on foot this time, probably because there were unreached people along the way that he needed to tell about Christ. It’s speculation but not entirely outside of Paul’s passion and giftings.
Paul wanted to get to Jerusalem before Pentecost. The day of Pentecost was a significant anniversary for the church. Evangelism started to explode because the Holy Spirit came down upon a few Believers who spoke in other tongues. Paul wasn’t with the Believers that day, but had his conversion experience a little later. I’m sure his fellow Believers told him all about that day of Pentecost. What a day for the church to celebrate!
With the blessing that awaited him also came the realization that he wasn’t well liked in Jerusalem.
Life is like that for all of us. There are things we’d rather not do, but often a greater good awaits us when we get through it. As we’ll see later in this chapter, Paul knew a bit of what he was up against.
Difficult times tend to do one of two things: draw us closer to God or keep us away from God. For Paul he had to constantly be on his guard against worrying about his future. It was completely in God’s hands.
And so is ours.