Context: Paul, about to return to Jerusalem, is convinced that he will never again be able to see the Christians whom he has converted in his missionary journeys. He sadly bids farewell to the believers in the church at Ephesus, telling them that he has striven with humility and diligence to reach them all, both Jew and Greek. He exhorts them to keep the church intact, in spite of difficulties which will arise from both internal and external sources. In conclusion, he says:
Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.