(From: ACTS #34 - 20:17-38)
C. 20:17-38 THE MINISTRY OF THE TRUE ELDER
a. 20:17 And from :Miletus he sent to Ephesus, andcalled to himthe elders of the church.
A-PO de tes MiLEtou PEMpsas eis Ephe-son, me-te-kaLEsa-to tous presBUte-rous tes ek-kleSIas.
b. 20:18-21 PAUL'S APPEAL TO THE EPHESIAN ELDERS
hos de pa-reGEnon-to pros auTON, EIpen auTOIS,
And when they were come unto him, he said to them,
HuMEIS e-PIstas-the , aPO PROtes heMEras aph' hes ePEben eis ten A-SIan,
YOU know, from the first day that I set foot in :Asia,
pos meth' huMON ton PANta CHROnon e-geNOmen,
how I spent with you all the time,
douLEUon to KuRIomeTA PAses ta-pei-no-phroSUnes , kai daKRUon ,
19serving the Lord with all lowliness of mind, and tears,
kai pei-rasMON ton sumBANton moi en tais e-pi-bouLAIS ton IouDAIon;
and trials which befell me by the plots of the Jews;
hos ouDEN hu-pe-steiLAmen ton sum-pheRONton 
20how I shrank not from declaring to you anything
tou mea-nagGEIlai huMIN, kai diDAxai huMAS de-moSIa , kai kat' OIkous,
that wasprofitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house,
di-a-mar-tuROme-nos  IouDAIois te kai HELle-sin ten eis ton TheON
21testifying both to Jews and to Greeks the repentance
meTAnoian , kai PIstin eis ton KUri-on heMON IeSOUN.
toward God, and faith toward our :Lord Jesus.
c. 20:22-23 PAUL'S UNCERTAIN FUTURE
kai nun, iDOU, de-deMEnos  eGO toPNEUma-ti poREUo-mai eis Ie-rou-saLEM,
And now, lo, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem,
ta en auTEsu-nanTEsonTA moi me eiDOS:
not knowing what shall befall me there:
plen HOti to PNEUma to HAgi-on kaTA POlin di-a-marTUreTAI moi,
23save that the Holy :Spirit testifies to me in every city,
LEgon HOti desMA  kai THLIpseis  me MEnou-sin.
saying that bonds and afflictions await me.
d. 20:24 DUTY OF MINISTERS
all' ou-deNOS LOgou poiOUmai ten psuCHEN tiMIan e-mauTO,
But I hold :life of no account as dear unto myself,
hos te-leiOsoton DROmon mou,
so that I may accomplish my :course,
kai ten di-a-koNIan hen Ela-bon paRA tou KuRIou IeSOU,
and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,
di-a-marTUras-thai  to eu-agGEli-on tes CHAri-tos tou TheOU.
to testify the gospel of the grace of :God.
e. 20:25 PAUL'S PREDICTION
kai nun, iDOU, eGOOIda HOti, ouKEti Opses-the to PROsoPON mou huMEIS PANtes,
And now, lo, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom,
en hois diELthon keRUSson ten ba-siLEIan .
shall see my :face no more.
f. 20:26 Wherefore I testify to you this very :day, that I am pure from the blood of all.
di' HOti marTUro-mai huMIN en teSEme-ron heMEra, HOti ka-thaROS ei-mi aPO tou HAIma-tos PANton.
g. 20:27 For I shrank not from declaring to you the whole counsel of :God.
ou gar hu-pe-steiLAmen tou me a-nagGEIlai PAsan ten bouLEN tou TheOU huMIN.
h. 20:28 FEED THE FLOCK: DUTY OF OVERSEERS
proSEche-te  he-auTOIS, kai panTI topoimNIo ,
Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock,
en hohuMAS to PNEUma to HAgi-on Ethe-to e-piSKOpous ,
in which the Holy :Spirit has made you overseers,
poiMAInein  ten ek-kleSIan tou TheOU hen pe-ri-e-poiEsa-to diA tou HAIma-tos tou iDIou.
to feed the church of :God which he purchased with his :own :blood.
i. 20:29-30 A PROPHETIC WARNING
eGOOIda HOti ei-seLEUson-tai meTA ten AphiXIN 867]mou
I know that after my :departure grievous wolves
LUkoi  baREIS  eis huMAS, mepheiDOme-noi tou poimNIou;
shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock;
kai ex huMON auTON a-naSTEson-tai ANdres, laLOUNtes di-e-stramMEna ,
30and from among yourselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
tou a-poSPAN  tous ma-theTAS oPIsoauTON.
to draw away the disciples after themselves.
j. 20:31 WATCHFULNESS RECOMMENDED
di' ho gre-goREIte , mne-moNEUon-tes HOti tri-eTIan NUKta kai heMEran
Wherefore watch, remembering that for three years I ceased not
ouk e-pauSAmen ]3973]meTA daKRUon nou-theTON HEna HEka-ston.
to admonish every one night and day with tears.
k. 20:32 A FAREWELL DISCOURSE
kai ta nun pa-raTIthe-mai  huMAS to KuRIo,
And :now I commend you to the Lord,
kai toLOgo tes CHAri-tos auTOU, todu-naMEnooi-ko-doMEsai ,
and to the word of his :grace, which is able to build up,
kai DOUnai ten kle-ro-noMIan en tois he-gi-asMEnois PAsin.
and to give the inheritance among all the sanctified.
l. 20:33 I coveted no one's silver, or gold, or apparel.
ar-guRIou, echruSIou, ehi-ma-tisMOU ou-deNOS e-peTHUmesa .
m. 20:34 PAUL'S TESTIMONY AS A TENTMAKER
auTOI giNOske-te HOti tais CHREIais  mou
Yourselves know that these :hands ministered
kai tois OUsi met' eMOU, hu-peREte-san  hai CHEIres HAUtai.
unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
n. 20:35 THE BLESSEDNESS OF LIBERALITY
PANta huPEdei-xa  huMIN,
In all things I gave you an example,
HOti HOUtos ko-piONtas  dei an-ti-lamBAnes-thai  ton as-theNOUNton ,
that so laboring you ought to help the weak,
mne-moNEUein  te ton LOgon tou KuRIou IeSOU, HOti auTOS EIpen,
and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that Himself said,
MaKAriON  es-tin MALlon diDOnai e lamBAnein.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
o. 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he knelt andprayed with them all.
kai TAUta eiPON, theis ta GOna-ta auTOU sun PAsin auTOIS proSEUxa-to .
p. 20:37-38a SORROW AT PAUL'S PREDICTION
hi-kaNOS de klauthMOS  eGEne-to panTON, kai e-pi-peSONtes
And all wept sore, and fell on the neck of Paul
ePI to TRAche-lon  tou PAUlou ka-tePHIloun  auTON,
o-duNOme-noi  MAlis-ta ePI to LOgo ho eiREkei,
38asorrowing most for the word which he had spoken,
HOti ouKEti MELlou-sin to PROso-pon auTOU the-oREIN.
that they should behold his :face no more.
q. 20:38b And they brought him on his wayunto the ship.
proEpem-pon  de auTON eis to PLOIon .
NOTE: 20:17-38 is a very compact Scriptural Section composed of 18 sentences with no subdivisions - just one paragraph. It is one of my favorite passages in Scripture. The fact that it is a word from Paul's heart to the elders of the City Church of Ephesus gives it additional importance. For according to Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter in his “Explore the Book” - he sets forth Romans, Ephesians and Paul's 2 letter to the Thessalonians as representing three significant City Churches founded by God through Paul
Romans can be identified with the Feast of Passover of the Jews, and which Jesus at His Last Supper updated for the whole Body of Christ, Jew and Gentile, the One New Man. “Justification by Faith” is the key doctrine of this Book, and was used by Martin Luther to usher in the Reformation of 1517.
Ephesians can be identified with the Feast of Pentecost. It is probably Paul's letter of “highest church truth”. Here he lays out a number of pictures of the church: Christ's bride; His Temple; His Building; His Soldier; His One New Man; His Body - among others. In the passage above, Paul warns of apostasycoming in the future, even from some of the present elders! In Revelation 2, Jesus warns this church that already they have left their first love! Soon all 7 churches of Asia Minor addressed by Jesus in Revelation 2 and 3 - have disappeared with the Candlesticks or Menorahs. Modern Missionary trips are shown where these 7 churches once existed.
Thessalonians set forth the Return of Jesus in Judgment, for His church, and to set up His 1000 year Millennial Reign. It accords with the Feast of Tabernacles.
One word in this passage stands out predominantly for me: “nou-theTEo” (8 times in verbal form) and “nou-theSIa” 3 times in noun form. It is translated to admonish, to warn, to counsel. A whole book is written on this word entitled “Nouthetic Counseling”. Paul is the only one who uses this word in its 11 references. It is especially used to ground disciples so they will endureunto the end. Because of his prophetic word to the Ephesian elders in this passage, it bears special significance. We should all learn under the Holy Spirit to give “Nouthetic Counseling” one to another.
See especially 20:27 - “For I shrank not from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Paul left nothing out. How important it is for allof us to master the full teaching of the Holy Spirit through Paul in his 14 letters. Seven of his City Churches are recipients of this undiluted wisdom.
Notice how “human” Luke by the Spirit presents Paul in this passage. It is a two-way street. The mutual affection of Paul for these elders - and they for him - is a picture of divine “aGApe” love!
For those who memorize not just by verse, but by passage, chapter and even book - this is a prime passage that could be committed to memory and meditated upon. J.A.W.