21 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. 2 We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. 3 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. 4 We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 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. 6 After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.
What stands out to me when reading this passage is the very first verse, which says “After we had torn ourselves away from them…”. This is referring to Paul and his companions ‘tearing’ themselves away from the leaders and elders in Ephesus as they head towards Jerusalem. I am drawn to this imagery as it causes me to think about why they had to tear themselves away? Why did they not want Paul to leave so desperately?
Paul‘s departure was so difficult for the leaders, because he had spent time investing into their lives and showing love to them. Paul exemplified what makes a good leader and disciple maker. He formed relationship with the leaders and they honoured and respected him greatly (e.g. Acts 20:37). Paul’s leadership challenges me to think about my leadership, both in church but also in my work, family, friends and everyday life. How am I leading people to Jesus, such that I’m making a significant difference in people’s lives?
Lord God, I thank You for appointing us to share your gospel. When You call, You equip, so I thank You for equipping me to point people to Jesus. Please help me today to lead with love and investment in those around me. In Jesus’ Name.
Written by Ps. Laura Samperi