Paul, on his journey before leaving for Jerusalem (Acts 21) says a lot about friendship, fellowship and the importance of relationships. In Acts 20 Paul informs the Ephesian elders that he has been called to go to Jerusalem. He leaves them with many encouraging messages, as well as warnings of things to come. This chapter involves much embrace, while concluding with an accompanied walk together to the ship of Paul’s departure.
Chapter 21:1 states that the elders had to “tear” themselves away from him. What a beautiful picture of saying goodbye and representation of the love this group of individuals has for one another.
Paul’s journey after boarding that ship is a timeline of salutations and farewells with individuals and places that he knew. Be assured, this journey was not easy for him and delayed his trip to Jerusalem, but obviously he felt that this was necessary and his responsibility to do so.
In verse 4 of Chapter 21 Paul stays with the disciples in Tyre for seven days. A representation I believe of completely living in the moments of fellowship with his fellow men. The number 7 represents the totality of time that was required in saying goodbye. This shows Paul’s ability to entirely live in this moment with the other disciples, in taking all of the time necessary for a proper sendoff. The capability and aptitude of Paul not get to far ahead of himself and the journey he was about to enter, but to live in companionship and fellowship with the other disciples is inspiring. For his journey to Jerusalem meant a great deal and the memory of this fellowship certainly would continue with him on that journey.
This represents the peace that can be found between common man, when time is spent building relationships with those around you. It also is a lesson to all of us that proper time must be spent with other believers in unity and fellowship.
Upon Paul’s leaving Tyre in chapter 5, all of the families of the other disciples accompanied him out of the city to kneel and pray and say goodbye. What an awesome spectacle of love and companionship between fellow believers and a message to all of us to join together in fellowship, while spending time with others, in order to build and strengthen our relationships.