Paul spent a long time in Corinth. While he was there, Gallio, the representative of the Emperor in the region, gave a political-legal judgment in favour of Paul. This decision had wide-reaching consequences for the spread of the gospel.
In today’s passage, we see Paul had his hair cut, which possibly marked the end of a Nazarite vow (which would focus on abstinence and cleanliness). That in turn may have been a response to the uncleanliness and immorality he found in Corinth. Next they travelled to Ephesus and Paul left his travelling companions there.
When asked to stay longer in Ephesus, Paul indicated that he would return, if God willed it. He was fully submitted to the direction of God and would not pursue his own agenda. We do well to emulate this example; wait on God, hear his voice, follow his direction, surrender your plans.
Paul was driven by his love for Jesus to travel, sharing the good news. He knew that, like us, he had done nothing to deserve the grave he’d received – quite the contrary.
This passage sees Paul arrive at cosmopolitan Corinth, a city well-known for its immorality. There Paul worked and ministered. He could not be accused of sponging off believers. In his passion he demonstrated integrity.
God continued to work out his purposes through Paul, as he works out his purposes in us today.
Though we love God, we all have idols. These are things or people that have a dearer place in our heart than God. These may even be good things in their own right; it is just that we are giving them inappropriate priority.
The apostle Paul was provoked by the idols he saw in Athens. He knew that the answer then, as now, was the gospel. And so Paul presented the gospel to this city in terms relevant and accessible to his listeners.