20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third storey and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.
13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The riot described in Acts 19 seemed to be caused by the disrepute in the trade of the craftsmen, as they were hoping to prosper from the business of making silver shrines. But actually, this incident had once again shown the truth of Jesus: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you…but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”(John 15:18-19) “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account!”(Matt 5:11).
- Paul clearly knew that God’s work had been accomplished in Ephesus and the churches had been established. He then departed from Ephesus and revisited churches (Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea etc.) and encouraged the churches.
- Throughout all the persecutions, the Lord had prepared for companions for Paul, that were willing to suffer for the sake of God’s work. There were 7 workers described in this chapter, who had accepted the Lord in the 3 journeys that Paul made. 3 of them were Macedonians who had then became loyal helpers in Paul’s ministry. The Macedonians, Gaius and Aristarchus, were caught and shamed in the riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:29). From the perspective of men, they might have been losing their minds; but from the Lord’s perspective, God was placing them in a trial. After this trial, they were still willing to follow Paul faithfully.
- In Acts 27:2 Aristarchus was there willing to accompany Paul by becoming a ‘prisoner’ even without being chained.
- Tychicus was faithful in spreading the gospel and to proclaim God’s will by travelling to various places.
- Trophimus, a Gentile, followed Paul to Jerusalem and became the main reason of the arrestment of Paul. From this we can see that the close relation between Paul and his company was out of God’s love.
- In Philippi, Paul spent his days of Unleavened Bread, which was the day that the Lord had been crucified and resurrected. One week later, they sailed to Troas, which was the place when Paul received the Macedonian call. He was once again reminded of the Lord’s calling when he revisited this place, and it was wonderful for him be in touch with the members of the local churches. The second Sunday after Easter, they gathered and had communion, and also being reminded of God’s Word. The gathering was extended to late night due to the desires of brothers and sisters for God’s word and so Paul dutifully and faithfully proclaimed it. This gathering is good since, 1) we are being reminded of the Lord’s body being broken for us; 2) the word of the Lord is revealed by the work of the Holy Spirit, which is according to the ultimate truth (2 Timothy 2:15) – the unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). No one would ever want to stop this kind of gathering!
- Looking back to the initial plan of Paul, which was to sail back to Syria, he was instead being persecuted by the Jews and was forced to go to Macedonia (Acts 20:3). It seemed that Paul was changing his plan to avoid being arrested, but now it is clear the entire incident happened because God wanted to use Paul to fulfill one of the many parts of his great plan. We should praise the Lord, because He is great and powerful! His wisdom is immeasurable!
PRAYING IN FAITH
Ask God to strengthen our faith to serve Him faithfully in our lives and to relieve us of our anxieties.
For your five
Ask God to help us to work together for Him, encouraging and support each other according to the Lord’s will.
For our church
Pray for God to lead our church, to remind, encourage, comfort each other, and to strengthen the relations between the members of Christ to work together for God, to spread the gospel of Jesus and to revive His church.