Mysia and Troas.
Wednesday, 19 April 2023
So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. Acts 16:8
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
The previous verse revealed the inability of the missionary team to enter Bithynia because the Spirit would not allow them to. With that, it next records, “So passing by Mysia.”
Rather, the verb is an aorist participle, “So having passed by Mysia.” This doesn’t mean that they avoided the area altogether, but that they did not preach there. From their previous location, they had to travel through Mysia to get where they next headed, which is that “they came down to Troas.”
Their travels took them from an area of the highlands to the coastal area where the well-known seaport of Troas was. Troas, or Alexandria Troas, is a city on the northeastern coast of the Aegean Sea which is the western boundary of Asia Minor. Of this area Albert Barnes notes –
“This was a city of Phrygia or Mysia, on the Hellespont, between Troy north, and Assos south. Sometimes the name Troas or Troad, is used to denote the whole country of the Trojans, the province where the ancient city of Troy had stood. This region was much celebrated in the early periods of Grecian history. It was here that the events recorded in the Iliad of Homer are supposed to have occurred. The city of Troy has long since been completely destroyed. Troas is several times mentioned in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:13; Acts 20:5.”
From this area, it is possible to sail off to other areas, and that is exactly what will be needed as the missionaries are led by the Spirit.
Life application: As noted in the commentary of the previous two verses, the hindrances placed before the group are not fully explained by Luke. It can only be speculated concerning what it means that the Holy Spirit kept them from preaching in the province of Asia or that the Spirit did not permit them to go into Bithynia. For all we know, there may have been some sort of problem in the region of Asia, such as an uprising or a time of mourning for a leader that had died. Maybe there was an arbitrarily applied lockdown because of a pandemic.
Whatever the case, and the speculation could go on indefinitely, the group understood that the timing of the surrounding events precluded them from preaching in this area. As they were being led by the Spirit and their feet had arrived in this area at that particular time, they knew that the Lord had other intentions for them.
If you are a believer in Christ, then you are “in Christ.” By default, the things that happen around you are as they should be. It is our job to respond to the events as they come and attempt to discern what God’s will for us is. This can be difficult because it won’t be written on signposts. Rather, throughout your day, talk to the Lord. Acknowledge His presence and ask Him to guide you accordingly.
Whatever happens will ultimately be known to the Lord. Nothing occurs that He is not aware of. But this doesn’t mean we are not to act. The more we include Him in our thoughts, prayers, and actions, the better off we will be in our own minds concerning what occurs.
At times, Paul sat in a Roman prison. He could say, “Well, this isn’t where the Lord wants me.” But that is not at all what he said. And more, he didn’t give up while sitting there. He continued to rely on the Lord and tell people about Jesus. He accepted that he was exactly where the Lord intended him to be. Just because he may not have liked his surroundings, it doesn’t mean he didn’t accept them as the will of the Lord.
Keep close to the Lord at all times. Include Him in all you do. And be sure to acknowledge His will as being a part of where you are at any given moment.
Lord God, help us to live in Your presence acknowledging that You are with us and directing us at all times. Our denial of this doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It would just mean that we have failed to accept that You are with us. But You are. And so, Lord, help us to realize this and remain faithful to You no matter what. Amen.