St. Paul’s THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY. Difference to other missionary journey ….
Paul’s third missionary journey was different from the first two. On the first two journeys, Paul reached into new areas where he preached the gospel and planted churches. On the third journey, Paul visited no new areas, but went to strengthen believers in cities where he had already been
In Ephesus, the establishing of the Christian congregation in the city was largely done by the couple, Priscilla and Aquila. By the time Paul reaches the city on the third journey a thriving congregation was already in place. What remained, however, was an extensive evangelizing of the surrounding region around the city, which took place during the lengthy two plus year stay of the apostle there.
Acts 18:23 – 21:15
Length: 4 years ; 54 – 58 A.D.
Total miles traveled – Approximately 2,515+ miles
(1,190 by sea and 1,325 by land)
Paul spent some time, in Antioch before launching out on the third trip. Now after the previous try to go directly westward to Ephesus, he is able to do this and arrives at Ephesus, the government center of the Roman province of Asia.
Mostly from Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 we understand a major objective for the third missionary journey: the gathering up of a massive financial offering from the Gentile churches to be given to the Christian leadership in Jerusalem for distribution among the Jewish Christian communities of the city and surrounding region.
This objective dictated that much of the trip be routed to already existing churches, and that the planting of new churches on this trip -- although it did happen some (Acts 19:10, 20) -- was a secondary objective for this missionary journey.
- Ephesus with an estimated population of 400,000 to 500,000 inhabitants in the first century, it was an important trade and banking center for the very prosperous province of Asia during the first Christian century.
- Establishing a strong Christian community here would greatly enhance the spread of the Gospel throughout the entire province.
Apollos was a Jew.
“An eloquent man”
“Mighty in the Scriptures”
“Fervent in spirit”
Began to speak boldly in the
Paul would later write, “I have planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase.”
When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
Acts 19: 9 -10
The best-preserved example of the lecture halls discovered in the Kom el-Dikka ancient academy complex..
Photo. M. Krawczyk (2004)
Note: the seven churches of Asia of Revelation 2 and 3 are all located in the general area of Paul’s work during his stay in Ephesus1. Ephesus2. Smyrna3. Pergamos4. Thyatira 5. Sardis6. Philadelphia7. Laodicea
They fled out of that house both naked and wounded. Acts 19:16
Scholars believe that the books gathered for burning at Ephesus may have resembled the Coptic magical texts that archaeologists have recovered in Egypt.
Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.” So he sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed for some time longer in Asia.
After spending some time in a city, opposition against him would explode into some kind of attempted violent reaction with the aim of getting rid of Paul.
- Demetrius, the silversmith maker or shrines of Diana caused an uproar.
The temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis was located in Ephesus, which was the center of worship for this deity in Asia
- When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
and the city was filled with confusion. and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s travel companions. Acts 19, 28-41
- that event triggers the apostle’s departure into Macedonia: 19:23-20:1.
Paul stayed in Greece for 3 months.The Jew plotted against him so he departed.Paul third visit to Corinth from which he wrote Ephesians in the winter of 57 C.E and Romans in the Spring of 58 C.E
Essential point: established the church on the second missionary journey
Date: AD 50-51
Sources: Acts 18:1-17; 1 Thess. 3:6-13; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; 1:13-17; 2 Thess. 3:1-5; 1 Cor. 3:5-10; 11:2, 23, 15:1; 2 Cor. 11:7-9
2. Prior Letter
Essential point: written before 1 Corinthians, now lost; may be partially contained in 2 Cor. 6:14-71
Date: AD 52 (?)
Source: 1 Cor. 5:9
3. 1 Corinthians
Essential point: written from Ephesus while on third missionary journey to respond to questions from the household of Chloe (chaps 1-6) and the Corinthian delegation (chaps 7-16)
Date: AD 54-55 (spring time)
Essential point: to try to correct ongoing problems in the church
Date: AD 55
Sources: 2 Cor. 2:1; 12:14; 13:1,2
5. Sorrowful Letter
Essential point: written from Ephesus after return from Corinth, possibly contained partially in 2 Cor. 10-13, but most likely lost
Date: AD 55
Sources: 2 Cor. 2:4; 7:8
6. 2 Corinthians
Essential point: written from Macedonia after leaving Ephesus on third missionary journey; prompted by joyous report from Titus regarding the relief offering etc.; possibly only containing chaps 1- 9, if 10-13 are a part of the ‘sorrowful letter’ (cf. #5)
Date: AD 56 (?)
Over the time of the second and third missionary journeys the apostle Paul spent more time and effort with the Corinthian church than with any other congregation, even the church at Ephesus with his three year ministry to these folks. At least four letters were written to the Corinthian church by Paul, along with at least three visits to the city. Much of his efforts were focused on helping the church solve a wide range of spiritual and moral problems that plagued the congregation.
Why give so much of himself to this congregation? Paul’s answer comes in 2 Cor. 12:15:
ACTS 20: 6-12
Eutychus fell down from the third floor as the apostle Paul preached on and on until midnight (Acts 20:6 - 10)
- At the end of that week long stay in Troas, Paul and those traveling with him met together with the believers in the city of Troas.
- Sitting on one of the window sills. probably for the fresh air was a young man. When Paul kept on talking well past midnight, Eutychus became very sleepy and dozed off while sitting in the window sill:. As Eutychus fell into deep sleep he unfortunately fell out the third story window, and it took his life
- Quite shockingly this interrupted the meeting so that Paul went down to the street to check on the young man But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”
Amazingly this only momentarily interrupted the meeting, rather than stopped it: Once it was clear that Eutychus was okay, Paul then went back upstairs to the gathering place in order to continue the meeting.
An insula (apartment house) dating from the early 2nd century A.D. in the Roman port town of Ostia Antica
Meeting with the Ephesian elders
In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed.
There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship
This is Paul’s third visit to Caesarea since becoming a Christian
Visited Philip the evangelist and his four daghters.
One of the seven chosen in Jerusalem
Toward the end of that visit, a new person arrives in Caesarea from Judea: a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
He came to us and took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.
When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”Since he would not be persuaded, we remained silent except to say, “The Lord’s will be done.”
Acts 21: 18- 25 … he related one by one the things that God has done among the Gentiles through his ministry.