Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders 17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called i the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: j “You yourselves know k how I lived among you the whole time j from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 l serving the Lord m with all humility and with n tears and with trials that happened to me through o the plots of the Jews; 20 how I p did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and q teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 r testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of s repentance toward God and of t faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained u by 1 the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that v the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that w imprisonment and x afflictions await me. 24 But y I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only z I may finish my course and a the ministry b that I received from the Lord Jesus, c to testify to d the gospel of e the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, f I know that none of you among whom I have gone about g proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore h I testify to you this day that i I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for j I did not shrink from declaring to you k the whole counsel of God. 28 l Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all m the flock, in which n the Holy Spirit has made you o overseers, p to care for q the church of God, 1 which he r obtained s with his own blood. 2 29 I r know that after my departure t fierce wolves will come in among you, u not sparing the flock; 30 and v from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore w be alert, remembering that x for three years I did not cease night or day y to admonish every one z with tears. 32 And now a I commend you to God and to b the word of his grace, which is able to c build you up and to give you d the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 e I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 f You yourselves know that g these hands ministered to my necessities and h to those who were with me. 35 In all things i I have shown you that j by working hard in this way we must k help the weak and l remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed m to give than to receive.’ ” 36 And when he had said these things, n he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And o there was much weeping on the part of all; p they embraced Paul and p kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of q the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And r they accompanied him to the ship.
17 Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς Μιλήτου πέμψας εἰς Ἔφεσον μετεκαλέσατο τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους τῆς ἐκκλησίας. 18 ὡς δὲ παρεγένοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• ὑμεῖς ἐπίστασθε, ἀπὸ πρώτης ἡμέρας ἀφʼ ἧς ἐπέβην εἰς τὴν Ἀσίαν, πῶς μεθʼ ὑμῶν τὸν πάντα χρόνον ἐγενόμην, 19 δουλεύων τῷ κυρίῳ μετὰ πάσης ταπεινοφροσύνης καὶ δακρύων καὶ πειρασμῶν τῶν συμβάντων μοι ἐν ταῖς ἐπιβουλαῖς τῶν Ἰουδαίων, 20 ὡς οὐδὲν ὑπεστειλάμην τῶν συμφερόντων τοῦ μὴ ἀναγγεῖλαι ὑμῖν καὶ διδάξαι ὑμᾶς δημοσίᾳ καὶ κατʼ οἴκους, 21 διαμαρτυρόμενος Ἰουδαίοις τε καὶ Ἕλλησιν τὴν εἰς θεὸν μετάνοιαν καὶ πίστιν εἰς τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν. 22 Καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ δεδεμένος ἐγὼ τῷ πνεύματι πορεύομαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ συναντήσοντά μοι μὴ εἰδώς, 23 πλὴν ὅτι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον κατὰ πόλιν διαμαρτύρεταί μοι λέγον ὅτι δεσμὰ καὶ θλίψεις με μένουσιν. 24 ἀλλʼ οὐδενὸς λόγου ποιοῦμαι τὴν ψυχὴν τιμίαν ἐμαυτῷ ὡς τελειῶσαι τὸν δρόμον μου καὶ τὴν διακονίαν ἣν ἔλαβον παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, διαμαρτύρασθαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς χάριτος τοῦ θεοῦ. 25 Καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ οἶδα ὅτι οὐκέτι ὄψεσθε τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ὑμεῖς πάντες ἐν οἷς διῆλθον κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν. 26 διότι μαρτύρομαι ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ ὅτι καθαρός εἰμι ἀπὸ τοῦ αἵματος πάντων• 27 οὐ γὰρ ὑπεστειλάμην τοῦ μὴ ἀναγγεῖλαι πᾶσαν τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῖν. 28 προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς καὶ παντὶ τῷ ποιμνίῳ, ἐν ᾧ ὑμᾶς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἔθετο ἐπισκόπους ποιμαίνειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου. 29 ἐγὼ οἶδα ὅτι εἰσελεύσονται μετὰ τὴν ἄφιξίν μου λύκοι βαρεῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς μὴ φειδόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου, 30 καὶ ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν ἀναστήσονται ἄνδρες λαλοῦντες διεστραμμένα τοῦ ἀποσπᾶν τοὺς μαθητὰς ὀπίσω αὐτῶν. 31 διὸ γρηγορεῖτε μνημονεύοντες ὅτι τριετίαν νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν οὐκ ἐπαυσάμην μετὰ δακρύων νουθετῶν ἕνα ἕκαστον. 32 Καὶ τὰ νῦν παρατίθεμαι ὑμᾶς τῷ θεῷ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ, τῷ δυναμένῳ οἰκοδομῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν κληρονομίαν ἐν τοῖς ἡγιασμένοις πᾶσιν. 33 ἀργυρίου ἢ χρυσίου ἢ ἱματισμοῦ οὐδενὸς ἐπεθύμησα• 34 αὐτοὶ γινώσκετε ὅτι ταῖς χρείαις μου καὶ τοῖς οὖσιν μετʼ ἐμοῦ ὑπηρέτησαν αἱ χεῖρες αὗται. 35 πάντα ὑπέδειξα ὑμῖν ὅτι οὕτως κοπιῶντας δεῖ ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι τῶν ἀσθενούντων, μνημονεύειν τε τῶν λόγων τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν• μακάριόν ἐστιν μᾶλλον διδόναι ἢ λαμβάνειν. 36 Καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν θεὶς τὰ γόνατα αὐτοῦ σὺν πᾶσιν αὐτοῖς προσηύξατο. 37 ἱκανὸς δὲ κλαυθμὸς ἐγένετο πάντων καὶ ἐπιπεσόντες ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον τοῦ Παύλου κατεφίλουν αὐτόν, 38 ὀδυνώμενοι μάλιστα ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ ᾧ εἰρήκει, ὅτι οὐκέτι μέλλουσιν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ θεωρεῖν. προέπεμπον δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον.
What are church leaders called to? This is the longest direct instruction on it in the NT. I want us all to be well informed by it. [the Reformed Pastor, by Baxter] cf Jesus final discourse before departure; some similarities. Care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood Love for the church. Means you serve her, love her, protect her, honour her. FCF - despise the church. Follow our own agenda, either as members (disconnected consumerism), or as leaders (power trips, fear of man and approval concerns). Jesus loves the church Jesus bought her with his own blood Jesus' grace in the gospel enables us to love the church as we should v17-27 Paul says, I've left you my example v18 how I lived v19 serving with humility through suffering and opposition v20 didn't shrink from saying what was profitable (i.e. for your discipleship in Jesus), in public and private v21 honest evangelism to all v22-24 I follow the Spirit, despite the sufferings ahead. But I only want to finish the course [ref 2 Timothy perspective here; to fulfil your ministry is simply to complete it]. Testifying to the gospel of the grace of God; the 'big idea'. v25-27 I taught you the whole plan ('Kingdom'), and so I'm innocent. v28-35 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock v28 note both aspects. One seems more obvious than the other, which is why pastors are so in danger of being disqualified, becoming heretics, or burning out. [cf watch your life and doctrine carefully. Our principle of via negativa] v28b Overseers, bishops, episkopos. Care for the church of God, since he loves her and paid for her with his life. Don't you dare abuse her or mistreat her. v29-30 the church will be under attack from outside (wolves don't look like wolves) and inside (the temptations to leaders to false teaching, or to start using ministry as a means to satisfy one of various appetites). v31 so be alert! Remember my example v32 you will be sufficient for this, by God and the word of his grace (i.e., the gospel). v34-35 more blessed to give than to receive; the gospel principle. Conclusion: v36-38 Gospel farewell. Tears are ok. Cf Jesus. Yet it was his tears as he heads into Jerusalem.