Paul's Sermon & Healing at Troas Part 1 of 3
by John Lowe
“. . . a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.”
November 11, 2015
Acts of the Apostles
By: Tom Lowe
Lesson: IV.D.5: Paul's Sermon & Healing at Troas (Acts 20:6-12)
Acts 20:6-12 (KJV)
6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
Paul was primarily occupied with his Jerusalem collection during the period covered by Acts 20:1-6. The mystery is why Luke did not mention it. He was certainly aware that Paul took a collection to Jerusalem, for it is mentioned explicitly in Paul’s later speech before Felix “Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings” (Acts 24:17). The group that accompanied Paul was almost certainly the collection delegation from the churches. Luke did not mention this, nor did he mention the collection at all in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, which Romans 15:25-28 clearly indicates was undertaken to deliver the gift. Why is Acts silent on the subject? Was there ultimately some problem with the collection?
These are unanswerable questions, and any solution would at best be an argument based on guesswork. It is clear, however, what Luke did want to emphasize. He wanted to show how Paul’s journey to Jerusalem was as foreboding as that of his master before him, how it ended in chains, but how that even in the seeming defeat of his arrest in Jerusalem God turned the events to the triumph of the gospel, leading Paul to the capital of the empire, the end of the earth, to bear his witness openly and unhindered.
The event described in this passage occurred on the eve of the delegates’ departure from Troas. Paul met with a group of local Christians for a “service.” Luke allows us a glimpse of what was probably a typical meeting of Christians in these early days of the church.
6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto
them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
“And we sailed away from Philippi”
After the completion of the Passover festivities, Paul and his companions departed “Philippi” by sailing from its port of Nablus.
The “we” indicates that Luke was once more with Paul. The last time we saw Luke and Paul together was at this same city of “Philippi.” No doubt Luke’s presence was a great comfort to Paul, who was not a well man. The constant abuse of his body by violent men, by exposure to the elements in storm and shipwreck, and by his divinely-appointed “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) all added up to continuous pain and suffering. That did not daunt Paul. All in all, he traveled 5,580 miles by land, facing all kinds of hardships and danger, and 6,770 miles by sea in little cockleshell boats, at the mercy of wind, sun, and storm—12,350 perilous miles. He evangelized an area of 1500 square miles in less than sixteen years. Yet Paul was a sick man, in constant need of the services of a Physician. Luke’s ministry to him helped ease is travels somewhat, though his brave spirit refused to give up or to take it easy just because of physical handicaps.
“after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days”
The year was a.d. 57. The Jewish festival of “unleavened bread" (Passover) lasted that year from April 7 to April 14. Paul tarried at “Philippi” for the period of the feast, then he and Luke sailed across the Aegean in “five days” to join the others at “Troas.” “Five days” was excessive when compared to the two days it took in Acts 16:11— “Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis.” The difference in sailing time may be attributed to the wind or lack of it.
The apostle still observed the old ritual, Passover, but from 1 Corinthians 5:7 “Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”
, we can see something of the new meaning and status he gave it—the Jewish Passover was becoming the Christian Easter.
It was at “Troas” that Paul’s European pioneer missionary adventure began and ended so far as the Acts narrative is concerned. He could look back over many remarkable achievements since he had first received his Macedonian call about six or seven years before.
“Where we abode seven days.”
Why Paul spent a week in Troas at a time when he was “in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost” is not explain, but there may simply have been no ship for the southward journey. The time spent in Troas gave him the opportunity to minister to these people again.