Scripture

Acts 20:1-12

When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Reflection

The Apostle Paul changed the world as few other men have ever done. He was beaten, run out of towns, left for dead, shipwrecked and spent many years in prison. He contended with fierce opposition both from outside and inside the church. And yet, he was the most prolific writer of our New Testament and arguably the greatest evangelist of Christianity in over 2000 years.

How did he do it? I believe it was Paul’s unwavering commitment to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. He simply would not quit, no matter the circumstances. One of the primary ways Paul helped spread the gospel was in his commitment to establish and strengthen the local church. He traveled around, preaching the gospel and helping the new converts work together to encourage and strengthen each other. Those groups could then evangelize, train, equip, and send out new missionaries so that the process multiplied many times over.

Paul was unrelenting in his commitment to the church and the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ. He was willing to pour out his life for this cause. It was that commitment that was at the heart of how God used Paul to change the world. We see in these few verses that Paul encouraged the disciples. He traveled through various lands, out of his way, and encouraged the people. He taught until the wee hours of the morning because he knew his time with them was limited, and he provided healing wherever he went.

For Paul, finishing the task God had given him was the most important thing in his life, far more important than his own personal comfort. There must have been times when he thought of how Jesus had headed resolutely for Jerusalem, knowing what sacrifice lied ahead. What would your life look like if you were completely sold out for the mission of Jesus Christ like Paul was? Is he just a mythical example or can we strive to attain his commitment level today? What prevents us from doing so?

Prayer

Dear God, Please give me ears to hear you, eyes to see you, and courage to follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.