there he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the jews as he was about to set sail for syria, he decided to return through macedonia. sopater the berean, son of pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the thessalonians, aristarchus and secundus; and gaius of derbe, and timothy; and the asians, tychicus and trophimus. these went on ahead and were waiting for us at troas, but we sailed away from philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and in five days we came to them at troas, where we stayed for seven days. [acts 20:3-6]
persecution & brotherhood
persecution follows paul wherever he goes, but the Lord protects him from death until his due time. paul does not need to seek persecution: it finds him as he is obedient! in the midst of avoiding persecution by the jews, he has many brothers in Christ traveling with him. i hesitate to make a descriptive passage like this prescriptive, but it encouraging to see the number of people co-laboring and traveling with paul as he proclaims the gospel, plants and corrects and encourages churches, and avoids death at the hands of his persecutors. i long for friends like this to labor for the sake of Christ with me, who will not abandon me when the world says evil things about me! Lord, teach us to be friends for one another who build up and comfort one another; redeem our surface-level friendships into ones that reflect your steadfast love!
~ stephen hall