It was after the uproar ceased that Paul sent for the disciples and took his leave with an exhortation before departing for Macedo'nia. He went through these regions, giving much encouragement, until he came to Greece where he stayed for three months. He detoured back through Macedonia because a plot against him by the Jews was discovered just before setting sail for Syria. Sopater of Beroea, Pyrrhus' son, accompanied him; as did the Thessalo'nians Aristar'chus and Secun'dus, Ga'ius of Derbe, and Timothy, as well as the Asians, Tych'icus and Troph'imus. These went on ahead to wait for us at Tro'as, but we sailed away from Philip'pi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and it was five days before we met up with them at Tro'as. There we stayed for seven days.
Luke doesn't tell Theophilus all the details. From that point in the story where the belting up of Sosthenes was ignored by the Roman proconsul, Paul's strategy had not been clarified for us. Luke doesn't always spell out how long Paul stayed at any one place, and he seems to assume that his readers will already have a sense of the timing of events. We know of Paul's contact with Prisca and Aquila in Corinth and his co-operation with Apollos. We are told of ongoing opposition, the trip to Syria (18:18) and after Paul's return we heard about the spiritual warfare in Ephesus. Some time before that, Paul had decided to leave the region, to visit Jerusalem. He saw this as an important trip. There was ongoing mutual assistance between the various sections of the expanding church. He had collected a significant amount of money and it had to be delivered. In his letter to the Romans we note Paul's plans of a visit to Spain after visiting Rome.
We don't know how much Theophilus knew. We can guess he knew about Paul's arrival and house arrest in Rome. If so, chapters 18 and 19 (see Hints 81-89) may be Luke's explanation of Paul's movements on his way to Jerusalem, in some way defending Paul against unfavourable interpretations of his conduct. Was it not the case that accusations from Gentile parts reached the Sanhedrin and Roman authorities in Jerusalem? Luke does not spell out the precise strategic reasoning behind Paul's movements. Instead he itemises Paul's movements and this is why I think it is possible we are here reading some form of evidence supporting Paul. Accusations about Paul's conduct in Asia, Macedonia and Achaia, could be checked by asking the witnesses Luke lists as Paul's travelling companions as well as those in the places listed. Luke also tells us when he accompanied Paul.
The churches, founded by the Spirit of Jesus, were fragile communities, facing many threats. They needed wise leadership and support from other churches which like themselves were part of a widening network. Paul taught that they had responsibility for each other and also to the apostolic fellowship in Jerusalem. As a record which informed the churches in the region, it protected and strengthened Paul's relationship with them by giving his itinerary and the names of those who travelled with him. Luke knew their loyalty could be eroded if accusations about Paul went unanswered. So was not Luke writing with a pastoral concern?