Tuesday, March 04, 2014
You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia - Acts 20:18
Over the nearly 3 years in Ephesus, Paul had an eventful stay. He struggled against opposition, was imprisoned at least once, feared for his life, and wrote letters to other churches including Corinth where he wrote this:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. -2 Cor 1:8-10
Paul seems to talk about we often. And writing this letter from Ephesus it would seem that the we at this time are the people he is surrounded by, the believers in Ephesus.
The guys he was teaching, in public and in their homes. The people he did life with. Paul is often portrayed as a harsh individual where relationships are secondary. But this passage gives short consideration of that caricature.
We read of tears many times. The fact that the leaders of this church were happy to make the 68 mile journey, in an age when walking was the mode of travel, to spend a short time with Paul speaks volumes. This was no leader locked in an ivory tower who kept himself to him self. This was brother on brother, flesh on flesh, friendship and deep love.
Relationships were clearly vital to this great missionary and leader. Today too many leaders are lonely for no good reason. Paul never seemed to do life alone he always seemed to have travelling companions in the cause of Christ.
Lets not do life or leadership alone!