12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
The context of the next two verses is that Paul dispatched Titus to the Corinthian church with a corrective letter (2 Co 2:4; 7:6-7). His concern was that the church appropriately received the message.
Paul was still dealing with the charge against him of fickleness. One reason he did not go to Corinth when he said he would was that an opportunity opened to extend the gospel. The gospel took precedent over his personal plans.
when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel,
Paul went to the seaport of Troas (near Troy) to preach the gospel, but when he arrived there, he did not find Titus. Troas was in what is Turkey today on the coast of the Aegean Sea. It was a Roman colony having the status of a Roman city.
and a door was opened to me
There was an open door to preach the gospel in Troas (Ac 14:27; 1 Co 16:9; Co 4:3). Paul could not proceed with this opportunity until he received news from Titus about the Corinthian church.
Previously, while in Troas on his second missionary journey, Paul received a vision that he should preach the gospel in Macedonia (Ac 16:8-10). The apostle was now on his third missionary journey.
by the Lord,
The Lord, not Paul, opened the door to Troas (2 Co 2:14).
I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother;
Paul did not rest in his soul because he did not receive what he had hoped would be good news from Titus’s trip to Corinth. He expected to rendezvous with Titus in Troas, but he was not there. This dashed Paul’s hopes of a ministry in Troas.
but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
The apostle could not take advantage of evangelistic opportunities in Troas across the Aegean Sea from Corinth because of his concern for the Corinthian church. He left Troas for Macedonia in Greece early because he urgently wanted news from Titus about the Corinthian situation. Once in Macedonia, he heard the good news that the church received the letter positively.
The gospel is the catalyst for every Christian’s mission.
Nothing should daunt the believer’s mission in life (2 Ti 4:7). Every person will face obstacles, difficulties, trials, and disappointments in ministry, but none of these things should discourage us from ministry.
Deep love for those to whom we minister can hurt us the most. Personal relationships can interfere with gospel opportunities.