Daily Word

Mission transplant | Acts 18:18-22

18 Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters[d] and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.

19 They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. 20 They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. 21 As he left, however, he said, “I will come back later,[e] God willing.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 The next stop was at the port of Caesarea. From there he went up and visited the church at Jerusalem[f] and then went back to Antioch.

Acts 18:18-22 (NLT) 中文

2nd missionary trip ends

Paul and Silas have been in Corinth and are now finishing up the 2nd missionary journey. Everywhere he went, Paul shared the good news in the synagogue to the Jews and gentile converts to Judaism. Usually, it lasted a while then he got kicked out. He wraps up in Corinth and checks out of the hotel – so to speak.

Fulfill a vow

At some point Paul took a vow which forbade him to cut his hair. The most common of that sort was the Nazarite vow. “Jews took vows usually either to get something from God or because God had done something for them (cf. Lev. 27). They were, therefore, expressions of dedication or thanksgiving. Perhaps Paul took this vow out of gratitude to God for the safety that God had granted him in Corinth.” (planobiblechapel.org quoting Lenski)

Mission transplant

Luke records that Paul took Priscilla and Aquila with him to his next stop, Ephesus. We remember they are a persecuted Jewish couple forced out of Italy for being Jews. They settled in Corinth and made tents. Paul joined them in the work to earn money and not be a burden to others. He developed a good ministry partnership with them in Corinth so transplanted them in Ephesus. 

It’s our first record of “switching fields” in the Bible – changing from one ministry location, work or people to another. Note Paul was more an evangelist / church planter so didn’t stay. Paul, “left the others behind” (v19) to continue to minister in Ephesus while he returned to Jerusalem and Antioch, his “home” church who had sent him out.

Next steps

Paul seems to be itchin’ to get back home so didn’t stay long in Ephesus. He went back to Jerusalem – presumably to report to the elders of the church there what God was doing in the churches he had just visited. Finally, he went back to his home church in Antioch.


  • Are you involved in a ministry? If not, why not? Have you been asked to “switch fields”, to change the ministry location, focus, etc? Share in the comments to encourage us. Like others, we had to switch fields as a result of COVID – and to a place we never wanted to go. But God is good and He helps us accept it and grow where He plants us.
  • We should, like Paul, caveat our future plans with, “as God wills”. There have been more than a few times our plans were changed drastically. As His servants and children, we accept the changes, give glory to God and continue with service. 
Abundance. Crops too many to count. Image from Pxfuel.com

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