Acts 20:1-12: Eutychus
February 10, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Here we first are told about Paul’s journeys encouraging and strengthening disciples, and then about a particular instance with a young man called Eutychus. What do we learn?
First of all, Paul’s journeys in the first six verses open up for us a window of an apostle constantly on mission and doing all he can to advance the kingdom. These days, travel is so much easier. We have so many more opportunities to communicate globally through the Internet and smartphones. If the apostle can maintain this number of contacts and connections through ancient means of communication – for the purpose of the gospel – how much more should we be doing all we can to encourage, pray for, and minister to those who are near us and those who are far from us? Who could you be praying for? Who could you email or text to encourage? What could you do to go, pray, or finance global and local mission?
Second, with the story we hear of Paul’s depth of teaching. There he is teaching all through the night. He plans to go the next morning. So what does he do? Get a good night’s sleep? Put his feet up for a quiet night before he goes traveling the next morning? No, he stays up until midnight teaching the Bible and preaching the gospel. There is an urgency here, a passion, a desire that we should have too! The people wanted to hear from Paul, and Paul was more than willing to teach them. But then also there is a note of (perhaps even humorous?) reality in the sleepiness of Eutychus. Paul’s teaching goes on and on. And unable to stay awake any longer, Eutychus falls asleep, falls out of the upstairs window, and crashes to the ground beneath, dead. A tragedy. And yet Paul, imitating the actions of Elijah (1 Kings 17:21) raises Eutychus from the dead! The power of Christ in Paul, therefore, of course, greatly encouraged the people. And then, note this: Paul keeps on talking and teaching until daylight and then departs.
Oh Christian, the Spirit that was in Paul is also in us! Such passionate commitment to the cause of Christ, such a desire for God’s Word, such a vibrant, joyful excitement – celebrating Christ, enjoying the gospel, growing and fellowshipping and loving each other – may all these marks of revived and authentic disciples of Jesus increasingly be ours too!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."