Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 20:7-14
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 20:7
v7: Paul and Luke arrived in Troas on a Monday, and undoubtedly ministered during the week, but Luke focuses his attention on the Sunday evening gathering held the day before they left. He says, “On the first day of the week when we had been gathered together to break bread, Paul dialogued with them (the church), and continued his message until midnight, since he was going to leave in the morning.” Notice it says they assembled “to break bread” so their meal together was not just incidental. There was something important about it. The phrase “to break bread” was a common way of saying “to eat a meal,” so this passage does not actually tell us they took communion (bread & cup). But Paul’s description of the gatherings in Corinth seems to picture the church sharing a common meal after which they took the “Lord’s Supper” (1Co 11:20-34). Jude mentions “agape feasts” (Jd 12), and Peter also mentions a common meal (2Pe 2:13).

Monday: Acts 20:7
v7 (continued): Sunday was not a special day in that culture. It would have been a normal work day for most of them. But for Christians, it appears that Sunday had already become a special day for worship (1Co 16:2), and in time, it would come to be called the “Lord’s Day” (Rv 1:10) (F.F. Bruce, New Testament History, Doubleday and Co., 1971, p.428). Also, the words Luke chose to identify this day give us a clue about the meaning it held for these early believers. He says they met “in the one of the weeks” which is a Hebrew way of referring to Sunday. Every one of the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus uses this same phrase. Each says Jesus rose “on the one of the weeks” (Lk 24:1; Mk 16:2; Jn 20:1, (19); Mt 28:1 (“in”); also: Gn 1:5; Ex 40:2 (LXX)). It seems Luke was very aware that this gathering was being held on the same day of the week on which Jesus rose from the dead.

Tuesday: Acts 20:8, 9
v8: Their ship was scheduled to depart early Monday morning (v13), so Paul taught them as much as possible in those hours he had before leaving. The meeting was held in a large enclosed upper room and many brought oil lamps to provide light. Luke mentions the lamps because, as a physician, he obviously understood that the lamps affected the quality of the air in a closed area. Between the late hour and bad air, people could easily grow sleepy. v9: He’s about to describe a remarkable event: a dead boy will be raised to life. Luke was in the room and observed the events for himself, so his description is very precise.

Wednesday: Acts 20:9
v9 (continued): He says a certain young man named Eutychus (“Lucky”) was sitting on a window sill; possibly trying to get enough fresh air to stay awake. But as time passed, and Paul kept talking, he slumped down in deep sleep and fell, probably backwards, out of the window. Luke specifically states that he fell from the third story so we won’t assume he was simply unconscious or had the wind knocked out of him. Being a physician, Luke undoubtedly rushed down to help, but says the boy was “lifted up dead.” Surely, he knew how to check for a pulse.

Thursday: Acts 20:10-12
v10: As you would expect, people began to shout and wail as news spread that Eutychus was dead. When Paul arrived on the scene, he “fell upon him, put his arms around him and held him close to his body, and (then) said, ‘Stop shouting (yelling, wailing), because his life (soul) is in him.’” Luke already told us that the young man was dead, so Paul’s words here should not be interpreted to mean that Eutychus hadn’t died, but that his life had returned. What we’re seeing here is a miracle similar to Elijah raising the widow’s son (1Ki 17:18-23), or Elisha raising the Shunammite woman’s son (2Ki 4:32-36). vs11-12: Paul then went back up to the meeting room where a meal was served, but he only ate a small amount, and then continued conversing with people until daylight. Before he departed, Eutychus’ family brought the boy to show him that he was alive and express their enormous relief and gratitude. As Luke put it, “…they were not just moderately comforted.”

Friday: Acts 20:13
v13: Luke, along with the seven representatives who were traveling with them to Jerusalem (v4), left the meeting earlier than Paul in order to board the ship before it sailed, but for some reason, Paul made arrangements to walk to the next port, and then board the ship there. Assos was located about 30 miles south of Troas and the two cities were connected by a paved Roman highway. Since the ship had to sail southwest past an extensive Cape (Cape Lectum) and then turn eastward to reach Assos, it took longer to go by sea than if one simply walked. Luke does not give us an explanation as to why Paul chose to walk, so people have suggested all sorts of possible reasons, such as he needed a break from his traveling companions, he wanted to be alone to pray, he was tired of riding on boats, or he needed a long walk for his health.

Saturday: Acts 20:13, 14
v13 (continued): But the one explanation that makes sense to me is that someone, possibly several leaders, desperately needed to talk to him. Though he had been teaching and dialoging with people all night, in a poorly ventilated room, and had eaten very little, there was only one way he could give them more time, and that was by ignoring his own fatigue and inviting them to walk with him to the next port. If he wanted to be alone or pray, he could have found a quiet place on the ship which would have been much more reasonable than walking up and down hill for 30 miles. I believe what we’re seeing is an example of Paul’s passionate concern to disciple people. There was virtually nothing he wouldn’t do to strengthen believers. So, instead of leaving with the rest of his team to go to the boat where he could collapse exhausted and fall asleep, Paul chose to stay awake the entire next day so he could disciple or counsel someone while they walked. v14: Luke says, “when he rejoined us in Assos, after taking him up into the ship, we came (sailed) to Mitylene (a port on an island about 40 miles south).” We can only assume Paul slept soundly most of the way.  

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