Acts 20:1-38

by Andrew Hillard

Acts 20 doesn’t seem to start out all that well for Paul. First, after three months in Greece, a group of Jewish religious leaders started plotting against him. It’s not clear exactly what they were plotting and based on Paul’s speedy departure, he wasn’t interested in finding out. From there, Paul made his way to Troas where Paul had the opportunity to speak with a group of believers gathered together to break bread. Since he planned to leave town the next day, Paul “prolonged his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). As preachers, we like to think that it isn’t like anybody’s going to die if we preach just a little bit longer, but Eutychus proves that this isn’t always the case. As Paul talked longer and longer, Eutychus fell asleep, fell down three stories out the window he was sitting by, and died. The first nine verses of Acts 20 have not gone well for Paul.

Thankfully, things change for the better pretty quickly. Bending over Eutychus and taking him in his arms, Paul declares that the young man has been revived! And then he goes right back upstairs to continue his conversation until morning. We’re told that those who were present “were not a little comforted” (Acts 20:12). Paul’s travel plans were changed. He talked so long that someone fell out of a window. This surely wasn’t how Paul saw these days going, but the result was great comfort for those who heard him and continued ministry for Paul. So, in these days when things are surely not going how we saw them going, let’s follow Paul’s lead. Let’s keep on talking about Jesus.

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