Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
This is an interesting chapter where the fellowship is demonstrated simply, yet dynamically. Let’s look at each reference. First, in verse 4. IN TYRE: When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo. After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
NOTE what happens in Tyre. It’s not like they planned to be there, but as soon as they saw an opening, they looked up the disciples in that city. Then, they stayed there 7 days. The fellowship there operated as a family with wives and children participating.
When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day. IN PTOLEMAIS. At this city they only had a day, BUT they stayed with a few in the fellowship throughout that day.
On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. IN CAESAREA. At this coastal city along the Mediterranean they visited an known leader, Philip, and stayed with him.
After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge. After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. IN JERUSALEM. Here they travel with a man with whom they were to stay. When they came to Jerusalem, the fellowship welcomed them.
So, what’s going on here? The early disciples had a dynamic sense about the importance of fellowship. They may not have even known all of these disciples in the various cities, but they sought them out. This thinking came out of the teaching of Jesus. He prayed in his prayer in John 17 “that they may be one.” He made it so clear in his last group gathering with his disciples in John 13-17 that our love for one another–our fellowship–is one of the most powerful expressions of the reality of Jesus that there is. This is why he made such a big deal out of the pre-eminence of “love God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” If we do that, the world will know there is something supernatural about our lives.
I’ve got a couple of questions for you. FIRST: Do you see fellowship with other believers in Jesus as important as Jesus and the early believers did?
SECOND: Do you make it a priority in your life locally and in your travels?
THIRD: What keeps you from connecting with others for fellowship?