And after those days we packed and went up to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:15)
Paul and his companions were on their way to Jerusalem. They had traveled a long way, mostly across the Mediterranean Sea. Now they were on the last part of their journey, going from Caesarea on the coast inland toward Jerusalem.
Luke traveled with Paul, indicated by using we in this sentence. In writing about this part of the trip, Luke said something small, yet in my mind, significant. He noted, we packed. This is noticeable because this was the end of a long journey, yet Luke never before stated that they packed. They sailed from Miletus to Cos, from Cos to Rhodes, from Rhodes to Patara, from Patara to Tyre, Tyre to Ptolemais, and then finally from Ptolemais to Caesarea. They packed and unpacked at each step along the way, but Luke never mentioned it. Only here he did, as they prepared to leave Caesarea and go to Jerusalem.
This makes me think that this was the first time Luke visited Jerusalem, and like any follower of Jesus, he was excited. He knew this was the famous City of David, the location of the great temple, and the place where Jesus taught, did miracles, died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. Luke thought that every detail of this last part of their long journey was exciting, and like an excited tourist, he even mentioned, we packed.
There are a few other things to consider about we packed and went.
It shows us that God loves order and packing merely is ordering what we have in preparation for travel. God is a God of order and planning, and our desire to have things in order reflects His image in us. We should never make idols of order and organization, but it is essential to be mindful of them because God is full of order and organization.
It shows us that it is wise to prepare for where we are going. Paul, Luke, and the others traveling with them knew that packing would help them be ready for their travel to Jerusalem and their time there. Therefore, they took the foresight to get prepared by carefully packing. The same principle is true for us. We all have an appointment with the future. This is true for the near future, and it is wise for us to prepare for what lies ahead in this life.
It is even more valid for our eternal future. Each of us has an appointment with eternity, one that no one escapes. It would be best if you did your packing for that journey. Give your attention to eternal things right now.
– Attention to God’s word, which is eternal.
– Attention to people, who are eternal.
– Attention to giving, the sending of treasure ahead to heaven.
Before you go up to the New Jerusalem, make sure you’ve packed and prepared for the trip. Are you ready for travel?