We join Paul as he leaves Corinth. He has had a fruitful stay there but now he is ready for a change.
Paul stayed on in Corinth a little while longer after the Jews tried to turn him over to the Roman government. God had given Paul safety while in Corinth so he could minister to the vast number of people He had called Paul to reach. There was a thriving church there by the time Paul decided to leave.
I’m wondering what it was that moved Paul to leave Corinth. Did he receive word from home? Was he feeling homesick after all the time he was away? Was there some kind of business he needed to attend to in Antioch? We know that he cut his hair in response to finishing a vow. Was the vow being complete part of why he left? Could it possibly be that he was tired and simply wanted to go home for a bit to rest?
I’m also curious as to why Priscilla and Aquila decided to come with him. They didn’t get very far with him on his journey before parting company. Did Paul ask them to stay behind at Ephesus? Did God tell him to leave them there? Did he leave them because he saw the church had need of them or did they decide to stay on their own? Was this another John Mark experience?
At Ephesus Paul again reached out to the Jews but Priscilla and Aquila didn’t go with him. I’m not sure why they didn’t come with him as they were also Jewish. The Jews in the synagogue wanted to hear more but Paul didn’t want to stay. Did he put them in touch with other believers? Did Priscilla and Aquila stand in for him after he left?
Paul makes no promises as he leaves. He departs with his future plans open and in God’s hands. He has discovered over the years walking with God that his plans/desires don’t always drive his direction. His steps are ordered by the Lord. I’m assuming that this means that God gave him this time to rest at home.
We are not told that Paul taught in Antioch but he met with the churches on the way there and after his respite time. God gave him refreshing while at home. He was ready again to go out into the mission field to strengthen others.
Father God, did Paul feel guilty about wanting to go home? Did You have to convince him to take a break? I know I feel guilty when I miss a day but I also know that there are days when I NEED to rest instead. Thank You for understanding both kinds of days. You even created a day each week to rest. Help me use my rest times wisely and be ready to enter back into ministry refreshed.