Lesson 56 - Chapter 20:1-16

Lesson 56 - Chapter 20:1-16

Lesson for May 28, 2017

The Book of Acts

Chapter 20:1-16

Verses 1-12

“After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece. And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.But these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.”

After the uproar was ceased,” refers to the mob action at Ephesus over the drop in business of some local statue makers. The Roman magistrate could find nothing illegal about Paul and his fellow workers preaching the Gospel. “Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia.” Paul was now going to move north into the northern part of Greece once again. The Greek word for go means to follow an established itinerary. The words, taken his leave, mean a single act followed by a process. God’s plan is to be carried out in a logical and orderly manner. During this time Paul not only visited Macedonia but he went to Troy, called Troas. When Paul went to Philippi in Macedonia he met Titus according to II Corinthians 7:5-14 and was brought information that the problem in Corinth was now properly solved. As a result Paul wrote II Corinthians while in Macedonia. In addition to that he also wrote Romans during this time - 57-58 AD.

“When a plot was formed against him by the Jews.” By the time Paul finished writing the book of Romans, the Jews from all over the world were out to kill him and there was now a great assassination plot, which is mentioned only briefly here. They didn’t lay wait for him, this was an assassination plot to go find him and kill him. For a year the Jews had planned it and they were looking for the right time.Apparently, as the Jews knew this was a long non-stop trip, they decided to fill up the passenger list with assassins and get rid of him before he arrived in Syria. Through the grace of God the plot became known to Paul so he decided to take the land route through Macedonia.

“And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.Paul had a “traveling seminary.” Berea was the place where the church emphasized Bible doctrine, so obviously Sopater was a believer who thought of doctrine and put it first in his life. Aristarchus accompanied Paul on the third missionary journey and was nearly killed in Ephesus, and was with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment, according to Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24, and suffered martyrdom at the hand of Nero. Secundus means Gaius of Macedonia and Gaius of Derbe was the other disciple by the same name. Timothy we know about and Tychicus accompanied Paul to Miletus. Trophimus was a native of Ephesus. In II Timothy 4:20 Paul had to leave Trophimus behind in Miletus due to an illness.

“We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” In Troy, Paul had a week long Bible conference. The last day was a Sunday, the first day of the week. Remember that the believers had been called by four terms in the Word of God: saints, recognizing their union with the Lord Jesus Christ; disciples, which means those who are learning and applying Bible doctrine; Christians; and brethren referring to the Royal Family of God. They were assembling in the city of Troy for a church service and their custom was to have a communion service in connection with the worship. So the breaking of bread had to do with the communion service. But the main facet of the worship service has always been preaching, and we know this from two very simple bits of Greek here. The verb to break bread is followed by the word to preach. The word to break bread was a very short ritual over which they did not take long, but the word for preaching means he kept on preaching. The preaching was lengthy; the breaking of bread was very short. The preaching was beneficial because the in Greek the subject is benefiting by the action of the verb. The indicative mood means the central part of worship in the Church Age has always been the teaching of Bible doctrine described here by the Greek word for preaching “dialegomai” [dia = through; legomai = to speak on the basis of what you think] which means discourse or analysis, verbal analysis.

Unleavened Bread

(Fulfilled)

The Unleavened Bread feast was given to Israel to remind them that they must obey the mandates of God and do so in a timely manner. They were reminded to remove sin from their lives (leaven) and to depend upon the Lord by using the faith-rest principles. This feast was tied to the Passover and their exit from Egypt in that the Israelites were not to take time to even put leaven in their bread before their departure from bondage.

This feast spoke of fellowship with God and the walk of the believer. The unleavened bread speaks of Christ’s sinless life. The feast becomes a picture of God’s divine provision for the Church Age believer in Christ. It is God the Holy Spirit that provides the supernatural power necessary to live the Christian Way of Life. Jesus Christ is the example of perfection that we are to follow and He is the standard by which we are to examine ourselves. Jesus pioneered and proved the Christian life under the control of the Holy Spirit, being tested and tempted in every way in which we are, yet without sinning. This feast has been fulfilled, as well. (Matthew 16:6; Mark 8:15; I Corinthians 5:6; 11:23-26; II Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:7-9)

“There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.” In the ancient world they did not meet during the day, they met in the evening. This was because in the economy of the ancient world people worked every day except on special holidays. And they worked all day. Consequently services during the daytime were impossible. They generally began in the evening and this was true of Troy. So this service possibly started at about eight o’clock in the evening and went until well after midnight. The oil lights were burning all the time the message was going on. An oil lamp not only generated heat but also took oxygen out of the air. Eventually a young man was overcome by the long night and the atmosphere, fell asleep and fell from the third story window and died.

“But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him. When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.” This was a case of resuscitation. Paul didn’t exactly fall on him and embrace him. The Greek word for embracing is “sumperilambano” [lambano = receive; peri = to stretch over; sum = identified with him] means he stretched himself out over him. Troubled is the Greek word “thorubeo,” which means to scream, to carry on or to be in an uproar. The room was in a panic. But when a negative is put with this Greek word it means to stop the panic. Paul stopped the panic and brought the dead boy back to life.

Verses 13-16

“But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.”

Paul once again decides to walk to the port of Assos. Perhaps he feared the assassination plot was still active and they would not expect him to walk. In Assos he boarded the ship joining the others and sailed away to Miletus. At some point Paul decided he had to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, but it would be a big mistake on his part, as we will see shortly.

Pentecost

(Not Yet Completely Fulfilled)

The day of Pentecost was to be celebrated 50 days after the feast of the First-fruits, thus the name “Pentecost,” meaning fifty. It was a harvest of the work of their hands and they were to leave part of the harvest in the fields for the poor and for strangers. The offering at this feast was to include leaven, typifying the fact that all are invited to Christ’s feast. It was at this feast in the New Testament that the Church began. With the formation of the Church and the baptism of the Holy Spirit placing believers into union with Christ, Pentecost takes on new significance. The “harvest” has begun for the body of Christ (the Church, the Bride of Christ) and when the harvest is complete, the Lord will return for His bride. This feast has begun to be fulfilled. (Acts 2:1-4; I Corinthians 10:16-17; 12:12-20)

There were seven feasts in all. These seven feasts of Jehovah were foretold 1500 years before Christ regarding His redemptive work on behalf of mankind. The four spring festivals, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First fruits and Pentecost were all associated with the first coming of Christ in Hypostatic Union. The three fall festivals, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles were all associated with Christ’s physical return to earth at the Second Coming.

These feasts told the story of God’s redemptive plan and should have brought hope to Jews and Gentiles alike. Since the promise made thousands of years ago to Abraham (that through him all the nations of earth would be blessed) was for all people through his seed the Lord Jesus Christ, anyone can appropriate this blessing by faith in Christ. We can see in the typology of the feasts what was planned for Israel in the past and what they have to look forward to in the future (God is not finished with Israel yet). We can also see Christ’s redemptive work for the Church in saving us and giving us a future. The study of the feasts should give us all hope (absolute confidence) and reinforce our personal sense of destiny (God is not finished with His Bride, the Church, yet either). (Hebrews 2:14-17; Romans 4:1-5, 13-25; Revelation 21:2, 22:17)