20:1-6 After the riot in Ephesus, Paul traveled through Macedonia to Troas.
20:7-12 Paul restored Eutychus to life in Troas.
20:13-16 Paul stopped at Miletus on his way back to Jerusalem.
20:17 From Miletus, Paul sent [to call, to summon from one place to another; Paul (in a hurry to be in Jerusalem in time for Pentecost as per v. 16) asked the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus (about thirty miles south of Ephesus)] to Ephesus [Paul spent three years in Ephesus (20:31)] for the elders [spiritual leaders of the church; later called overseers (20:28)] of the church.
Note: Luke recorded Paul’s messages in…
• Acts 13:16-41 — to Jews in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia
• Acts 14:15-17 — to Gentiles on the streets of Lystra
• Acts 17:22-31 — to intellectuals on Mars Hill
• Acts 20:17-38 — to church leaders (the Ephesian elders) at Miletus
20:18 When they [Ephesian elders] arrived [in Miletus], he said [this is the only recorded speech of Paul which was delivered to Christians] to them: “You know [understand; knowledge viewed as a result of prolonged practice] how I lived [Paul lived a life of integrity before God and man] the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into [to set foot on] the province of Asia [Roman province of Asia (part of modern Turkey)].
20:19 I served [to serve as a slave] the Lord [Jesus was the focus of Paul’s ministry] with great humility [recognition of personal weakness as well as recognition of God’s power] and with tears [Paul wept because of those who rejected the gospel; cf. Rom. 9:1-5 for a glimpse into Paul’s heart], although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
20:20 You know that I have not hesitated [to draw back in fear, to shrink from, opposite of to speak boldly] to preach [to tell or announce; Paul had one message he proclaimed in public and private settings] anything that would be helpful [spiritually profitable, of advantage] to you but have taught [instruct] you publicly [in the synagogue (19:8) and then in the school of Tyrannus (19:9)] and from house to house [a more private kind of teaching; individuals, families, home churches].
20:21 [re: the heart of Paul’s message] I have declared to both [Paul was not partial toward any particular group or race] Jews and [cf. Acts 19:8-10] Greeks that they [both Jews and Gentiles are saved exactly the same way] must turn to God in repentance [a change of mind and a change of direction] and have faith [trust, commit, surrender] in our Lord Jesus.
20:22 “And now, compelled [driven, directed] by the Spirit [Paul went where the Spirit directed him to go], I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there [cf. Rom. 15:31 (probably written shortly before Paul’s meeting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus)].
20:23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me [cf. Acts 9:23-24; 14:5-7; 21:3-4,10-14] that prison and hardships [cf. Acts 21:27-36] are facing me.
20:24 However, I consider [reckon] my life worth nothing [of no account] to me [cf. Phil. 3:7-11], if only I may finish the race [cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Gal. 2:2; Phil. 2:16; 3:13-14; 2 Tim. 4:7] and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace [Paul had profoundly experienced God’s grace; cf. 1 Tim. 1:12-14].
20:25-27 Paul told elders they would not see him again.
20:28-31 Paul warned of persecution from without and apostasy from within.
20:32 Paul commended the Ephesian elders to God.
20:33 I have not coveted [to desire] anyone’s silver or gold or clothing [Paul had a spiritual focus].
20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs [Paul was a tentmaker (cf. Acts 18:3)] and the needs of my companions.
20:35 In everything I did, I showed [to show under one’s eyes, to give an object lesson] you that by this kind of hard work [emphasizes the hardness of the work and the weariness it brings] we must help [to take another’s part] the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said [the following words not in the gospels, thus indicating that much of what Jesus said was not recorded (cf. Jn. 21:25)]: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
20:36-38 Paul and the Ephesian elders prayed and tearfully parted.