Monday, March 31, 2008

Side Trip

“When I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, a door was opened to me by the Lord. I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find my brother Titus, but I said good-bye to them, and left for Macedonia.” (2 Corinthians 2:12-13 CSB)

Some have maligned Paul as a “non-team player” type, a “Lone Ranger” apostle. They describe him as one for whom relationships were at the bottom of the stack, one who was so task-oriented that nothing else mattered. To be sure, Paul was a highly task-oriented missionary, and perhaps early in his missionary career, relationships were not as primary as they were for some, but the deeper he got into ministry, the more important relationships became. In fact, relationships were primary for Paul.

The brief text above shows us that God opened a door for ministry in the city of Troas for Paul. Troas seems to have been Luke’s hometown, or at least the place where his medical work was centered. We cannot be certain of that, but it does appear that this is the city where Paul met Luke, since the “we” passages of the Book of Acts begin after Paul, Silas, and Timothy departed from Troas. At that point, however, Paul does not seem to have had a strong ministry in Troas, and now, finally, at this later time God opened a door for him to serve in Troas.

In Troas, Paul was unable to concentrate. He says it this way, “I had no rest in my spirit.” He had no peace about serving there, not because of concerns related to Troas, but because he could not find his brother and fellow missionary, Titus. His deep concern for Titus caused him then to say good-bye to the folks he had been working with in Troas and set out for Macedonia so he could find Titus.
There is no greater task than missions, and we must carry out the Lord’s directive to disciple the nations. We cannot do it alone, however. Remember that our Lord sent His own disciples out in two’s. Missions is, thus, a team effort. There may appear to be “stars,” but in reality God calls us to walk together in reaching the lost with the gospel. And Paul is the one who set the example for us in this.

Lord, Strengthen us in our commitment to You and to walking together with our fellow believers in reaching a world that is lost. For Your Glory. Amen.

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