Jesus Creed

Miletus.jpgIt is too easy to assign pastoral theology to the Pastoral letters of Paul; I believe 2 Corinthians contains some of the best pastoral theology of Paul, and the passage in Acts 20 of Paul’s last meeting with the followers of Jesus from Ephesus is a wonderful display of a missional pastoral theology … but first Paul has to wend his way to the port near Ephesus — at Miletus (pictured here is the entry to Miletus):

20:13 We went on ahead to the ship and put out to sea for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. He himself was intending to go there by land. 20:14 When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went to Mitylene. 20:15 We set sail from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. The next day we approached Samos, and the day after that we arrived at Miletus. 20:16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so as not to spend time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. 20:17 From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him.

I’d like to hear what you see for a missional pastoral theology in this section:

20:18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, 20:19serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots of the Jews. 20:20 You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house, 20:21 testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 20:22 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there, 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. 20:24 But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

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