Acts 20:38 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 20:38, NIV: "What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship."

Acts 20:38, ESV: "being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship."

Acts 20:38, KJV: "Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship."

Acts 20:38, NASB: "grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship."

Acts 20:38, NLT: "They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they escorted him down to the ship."

Acts 20:38, CSB: "grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship."

What does Acts 20:38 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The elders of the church in Ephesus love Paul. He tore into their city like a tornado. First, he took over the synagogue, passionately teaching about how Jesus of Nazareth has brought the kingdom of God. When he got too much push-back, he moved to a local hall and taught every day, welcoming all the Jews and Gentiles of the province. In his words, they found something even greater than John the Baptist's call for repentance of sins—they found true reconciliation with God, the hope of resurrection, and eternity in His presence (Acts 19:1–10).

In addition to showing the way to ultimate salvation, Paul waged war against the evils and hardships that plagued the city. The Holy Spirit so filled him with power that cloth he had touched healed the sick. Demons fled at his words. He put all other so-called exorcists to shame, and those who had dedicated their lives to magic and witchcraft burned their books and turned to his God (Acts 19:11–20).

Paul healed and rescued so many people from evil that the craftsmen who made shrines of Artemis feared for their income and staged a riot to remind the city of their devotion to their goddess. When a mob found two of Paul's companions and dragged them to the local theater, Paul, himself, tried to push his way in and rescue them. His church wouldn't let him; he was too precious to them (Acts 19:23–34).

Now, Paul has told the elders that he is going to Jerusalem where he will be arrested. None of them know he will spend the next five years imprisoned. They do know they will never see him again (Acts 20:22–25). The thought makes them weep (Acts 20:37), but they submit their wishes to the God who brought Paul into their lives and see him on his way.