Devotion 8-18-15

Acts of the Apostles 20:1 – 12

After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples; and after encouraging them and saying farewell, he left for Macedonia. 2When he had gone through those regions and had given the believers much encouragement, he came to Greece, 3where he stayed for three months. He was about to set sail for Syria when a plot was made against him by the Jews, and so he decided to return through Macedonia. 4He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Beroea, by Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, by Gaius from Derbe, and by Timothy, as well as by Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia. 5They went ahead and were waiting for us in Troas; 6but we sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we joined them in Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

7On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. 8There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. 10But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. 12Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.

Following the uproar and riots in Ephesus, Paul encouraged the disciples, the leaders of the church there, and sailed for Macedonia. He went through the region, encouraging the followers and the churches he had founded there – in Philippi, Neapolis, Thessalonika, Beroea, Then he goes on down to “Greece”, most likely to Corinth, where he stays for 3 months. A number of disciples had accompanied him, most of whom are named here, along with their home towns. But notice, apparently as Paul came through Philippi he again added Luke to his traveling company. For again, in verse 5, the language changes from 3rd person to 1st – “They (the group of traveling companions, ministers, disciples) went ahead and were waiting for us in Troas.” “We” – Paul and Luke and perhaps some others – sailed from Philippi, and in five days (five days at sea), joined them at Troas.

They had remained at Troas for seven days, and Paul intended to leave the next day. And so, he was meeting with the church there, and continued talking well into the night. There were “many lamps” burning in the room – lamps in those days burned whatever oil or animal fat was available. I can imagine the air in the room, stuffy and smelly, with the people crowded in. One young man sat in the window, trying to get some air and to stay awake. But in the later he failed, he dozed and fell three stories from the window. They were certain he was dead! But Paul went down to him, took him in his arms, and said, no, he is not dead, there is life in him yet! And so, we have yet another of the miracles that are scattered throughout Acts; here, Paul is almost matter-of-fact about it, and they go back and continue the meeting, after taking the boy home to recover. Paul stayed with them talking until dawn.

Who among us would stay with Paul talking until dawn? I get ugly looks for a sermon that runs over by five minutes! But don’t you imagine that time with Paul went by much too quickly? Can’t you imagine the people of Troas wanted as much time with Paul as they could get before he left them!

Leave a Reply