Acts + Letters Lesson 20 Day 4

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Acts 20:1-12

Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 20

Paul traveled through Macedonia and Greece

10. Acts 20:2 “having exhorted them with many words” (YLT)

Strongs #3870  to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, [ex]hortation or consolation):—beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), entreat, pray.

What would Paul say?

The letters he wrote to the churches give us a good idea of his style and content.

I can imagine Paul inviting those disciples to come near, telling them how proud he was of their spiritual growth, how he enjoyed being with them, how he would miss them, offering comfort concerning those who might oppose or persecute them, remind them to love and take care of each other, remember what they’ve learned, pray without ceasing—all that and more. Paul truly poured himself into them, answering questions. They were like his spiritual children.

Paul taught them the New Testament relating the life of Jesus to the Old Testament prophecies he fulfilled.

11. Seven believers went ahead to Troas.

Sopater of Beroea

Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians

Gaius of Derbe

Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia

Luke joined Paul in Philippi and sailed back across the Aegean Sea, eastward towards the Roman province of Asia Minor.” (Enduringword.com)

They stayed there for seven days.

On the first day of the week

The believers gathered together for an evening meal, communion and fellowship on the first day of the week. Sunday was a normal working day for them, so they gathered in the evening. “This is the first certain example we have of Christians making a practice to gather on the first day of the week.” (Source: Enduringword.com)

Since Paul planned to leave the next day and may never see these disciples again, he continued speaking until midnight—probably around six hours.*

12. Eutychus falls to his death from a third-story window.

The combination of the late hour, the heat, and perhaps the fumes from the oil lamps made the young man Eutychus fall asleep. His fall and death certainly would have put a sour note on the meeting.*

“The tenses of the Greek verbs portray poor Eutychus as being gradually overcome despite his struggle to remain awake. Yet in the end, sleep got the best of him: The word translated ‘sleep’ is the word from which we derive our English word hypnosis.” (Hughes)

Paul went down and fell upon him, and embracing him said, “Don’t be troubled, for his life is in him.”

They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted. (v. 12)

This is similar to when Elijah raised a boy in 1 Kings 17:17-24 and when Elisha raised the Shunammite’s son in (2 Kings 4:32-37).

Casual Gathering

The mention of Eutychus being in a deep sleep shows that he did not just doze off for a second; he had been asleep for some time. This reveals something about the way the first-century church services were conducted.

No usher was there to thump him on the head for going to sleep, and there is no mention of his sleep grieving the Holy Spirit so much that Paul couldn’t preach. Paul didn’t reprimand Eutychus for falling asleep or just leave him dead as an example to others who would dare to fall asleep while he was preaching.

Many of our modern notions about what’s proper in church would have been laughed at in the ministries of Jesus and Paul. They constantly had people mocking them while they were ministering, and it is certain that there must have been much commotion in Jesus’ ministry when men, women, and children stayed with Him for days.

The Holy Spirit is not as irritable as many have portrayed Him to be. When the power of God is not in manifestation, then people’s attention turns to trifles. (Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary)

Personal application

More than a decade ago while walking through a department store, I saw a woman who had just passed out lying on the floor. Another woman got to her first, so I was about to walk on by. Holy Spirit reminded me of the promise I made only a few weeks earlier when I saw a woman who felt ill standing on the sidewalk with her two distraught children while her husband ran to get the car. I briefly thought, “I should stop and offer to pray,” but I kept going. I felt so convicted, I repented, and prayed for her in my car. I promised I would not keep walking if I came across a similar opportunity.

So this time I stopped and knelt down on the floor beside the woman who passed out. The woman who stopped first identified herself as a nurse and asked the woman questions as she regained consciousness. I said nothing to either of them and just prayed quietly with my hand on the distressed woman’s shoulder. A few minutes later, a man came up and said he was a doctor. I decided it was time to leave.

I don’t know the outcome of either situation. Since then, I have often noticed people in distress and offered to pray.


*EnduringWord.com

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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 20 Day 4