The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 7 of 208
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"tempt" in 5: 9 & 15: 10, and the noun form peirasmos occurs in 20: 19 as
"temptation". In Acts 9: 26 we read that the Apostle "assayed" to join himself with the
disciples at Jerusalem, the idea being that he naturally felt somewhat different about his
reception, but made the attempt. It is right, therefore, for the believer, when faced with
an apparently shut door, to try the latch, in case it merely needs a touch to open it, but
there must be no forcing of the lock.
Failing to receive permission to enter Bithynia, these three devoted men went on their
way once more, arriving in due course at Troas. We must not, of course, allow our
imagination to invest these three way-worn travelers with a classical scholar's interest in
ancient Troy, but, on the other hand, it seems almost impossible for a man like Paul,
brought up in the Cilician University City of Tarsus, famous for its philosophy and
learning, not to have had some interest in the scene of Homer's famous poem. And
further, Troy was not only famous because of its legendary past, but on several
memorable occasions it had been visited by men of world-wide renown. Here Xerxes
had passed on his way to the attempted conquest of Greece; here also Alexander the
Great, at the tomb of Achilles, had conceived his idea of world conquest. In Suetonius,
also, we read:
"A report was very current, that he (Julius Csar) had a design of withdrawing to
Alexandria or Ilium (Troy), whither he proposed to transfer the imperial power, to drain
Italy by new levies, and to leave the government of the city to be administered by his
friends" (Suetonius J. 100: lxxix).
Where the conquerors of earthly territory had gathered inspiration or had cast their
approving gaze, there the Apostle of the Gentiles, harbouring the vast design of
traversing the length of the Roman empire in the cause of Christ, received his call to
cross the sea, and plant the standard of the cross on European soil.
We can well believe that, having arrived at the sea coast, the Apostle and his
companions would feel that they had reached a crisis.  Either they must receive
instructions to enter some specific territory, or there would seem nothing left but to return
from whence they came. Earnest prayer would ascend to heaven before they retired to
rest; and with what relief and thanksgiving they must have listened the next morning to
the Apostle's account of his vision. During the night he had seen a vision of a man of
Macedonia, and the man had cried, "Come over and help us". Not only would they be
grateful for the fact that Asia and Bithynia had been closed to them, seeing that it had led
to this fuller venture for the faith, but they would also realize that, had they stayed in
either Asia or Bithynia, the Apostle might never have met that "beloved physician", who
not only ministered to the Apostle's needs, but wrote the treatise we are at the moment
studying.
Paul makes two references to Troas in his epistles:
"When I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of
the Lord" (II Cor. 2: 12).
"The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the
books, but especially the parchments" (II Tim. 4: 13).