What does Acts 20:24 mean?
ESV: But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
NIV: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.
NASB: But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of God’s grace.
CSB: But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.
NLT: But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
KJV: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
NKJV: But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Verse Commentary:
In Miletus, Paul is speaking with the elders of the Ephesian church. He has already told them that the Holy Spirit compels him to return to Jerusalem even though persecution awaits him there. Here, he explains why he is so willing to obey.

Paul doesn't know what will happen in Jerusalem other than imprisonment. In the past, however, he did not turn away from conflict if he thought it would serve Jesus' purposes—in Ephesus, he tried to preach the gospel to a mob that had formed in opposition to his work and taken two of his companions (Acts 19:30). In Jerusalem, he will try to share his faith in Jesus, both with the mob that attacks him and with the Sanhedrin (Acts 21:37—22:21). Later, he will boldly tell his story to Herod Agrippa II and Bernice (Acts 26:1–32).

Paul also explains his dedication in his letters. He believes his discipline will result in a lasting reward—the salvation of others (1 Corinthians 9:22–27). He knows his life is fragile, and he's already been stoned once (Acts 14:19), but he dedicates that fragility to show others Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:7–12). Later, he will tell Timothy he is a drink offering, poured out for others (2 Timothy 4:6).

The ministry Jesus gave Paul is to bring Jesus' offering of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God to the Gentiles, to kings and rulers, and to the Jews (Acts 9:15). This is the gospel—the "good news"—of the grace that God offers sinners: that Jesus came, took accountability for our sins, died in our place, and rose glorified so that we, too, may be resurrected, glorified, and cleansed of our sins. To Paul, his life is nothing compared to the mission of sharing this message.
Verse Context:
In Acts 20:17–27, Paul begins his farewell to the elders of Ephesus. He and his team leave Troas and sail to Miletus, south of Ephesus, where Paul requests the Ephesian elders meet him. He reminds them how he served with dedication and self-sacrifice, and he also relays disturbing news. When he gets to Jerusalem, he will be imprisoned, and they will never see him again. Next, he will challenge them to protect their church from false teachers and to emulate his humble leadership (Acts 20:28–35).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 20 finishes Paul's third missionary journey. He leaves Ephesus after three years and travels to Macedonia and Corinth. Threats from the Corinthian Jews send him and his team back to Macedonia and Troas. In Troas, Paul gives a very long sermon and raises Eutychus from the dead after he falls—both asleep and out a window. In Miletus, Paul meets with the Ephesian elders. He reminds them to beware of false teachers and tells them he is going to be imprisoned and will not see them again. After a tearful farewell, he boards a ship for Judea.
Chapter Context:
Acts 20 records the last stages of Paul's third missionary journey. He started by visiting the churches he and Barnabas had planted in central modern-day Turkey (Acts 18:23). From there, he traveled southwest to the province of Asia, where he established a church in Ephesus (Acts 19). In Acts 20, he visits the churches in Macedonia and Greece before returning to Judea. When he lands, he meets briefly with Philip the Evangelist in Caesarea Maritima before going to Jerusalem and getting arrested. He will stay in house arrest for the next two years before embarking on a dangerous sea voyage to Rome (Acts 21—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/28/2024 6:33:58 PM
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