Greece, Aegean Sea, Asia Minor Area
The area of Paul's greatest missionary work centers around the lands found near the Aegean Sea (Aegaeum Mare). Cities in this region he visited include Miletus, Ephesus, Neapolis, Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth and many others. The Biblical irony is that the apostle Paul wanted to first preach the gospel in other areas! It took a special miracle to bring him to the continent of Europe.
Paul starts his second missionary journey, with fellow evangelist Silas, from his hometown of Tarsus. They travel west to the regions of Galatia and Phrygia spreading the gospel. Along the way they meet Timothy, who will eventually become Paul's most trusted friend. The three men continue to travel west to Antioch in Pisidia. Paul then wants to continue westward to spread the truth in the area around Asia proper but is hindered (Acts 16:6).
Stopped from preaching in the western part of Asia Minor, Paul and company travel northwest to the province of Mysia. The group then seeks to go in a north-easterly direction toward the province of Bithynia but again have their plans thwarted (verse 7).
Perplexed at what to do next, the group makes their way to the port city of Troas. It is there that Paul sees a vision of where he is needed the most (verses 8 - 12).
Did Apostle Paul fulfill his commission?
Acts 9 records the calling of Saul of Tarsus by the risen Jesus Christ. Saul, a zealous Pharisee who had been persecuting Christians in Jerusalem, was on the road to Damascus with letters from the high priest authorizing him to arrest the disciples of Jesus and bring them to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Sanhedrin. At this point in Saul's crusade to stamp out the Christian faith, Jesus spoke to him from the midst of a blinding light that was meant to ultimately cause Saul to repent of his many sins (Acts 9:5-6).
Maps of Paul's Missionary Journeys
Saul spent the next three days at the house of Judas in Damascus without sight, food or water before the Lord sent a disciple named Ananias to restore Saul's eyesight. It was through Ananias that God revealed Apostle Paul's threefold commission and the burden he would have to bear throughout his ministry. God's will for Paul was the following (Acts 9:15):
To preach the gospel message to the Gentiles (non-Jews)
To bring the reality of his existence and his message of repentance to kings
To teach and preach the gospel to the children of Israel
The burden Paul would have to bear was the trials, troubles and tribulations he would have to experience as one of God's chosen vessels to fulfill his will (Acts 9:16).
Paul's threefold commission was fulfilled by his journeys to Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece, which laid the foundation of the New Testament church among the Gentiles. During this time Paul also preached Christ to the Jews living in these Gentile regions. In fulfillment of his commission to testify to the children of Israel, he also wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, which was sent to the twelve tribes. At the end of his third journey, he witnessed to the Jews at Jerusalem, to Governors Felix and Festus, and to King Agrippa. On his fourth journey, he witnessed before Caesar at Rome. Paul thus fulfilled every part of the commission that Christ had given him.