Acts 20:7-16 We Are Called to Help the Hurting
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.
13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
Living God’s Word: As Paul’s involvement in the near tragedy with Eutychus demonstrates, the ministry is full of opportunities to help the hurting. It doesn’t matter whether you are clergy or laity; being a Christian means helping those who need comfort. We need to be willing to go anywhere—from living rooms to intensive care units and funeral homes—to offer hugs, tears, or prayers for those who are suffering and grieving. Ask God to make you a source of comfort to some anguished soul today.
Words to Live By: The end of Paul’s time in Troas is noteworthy for the resurrection of Eutychus. At times, we may become alarmed when a fellow Christian dies because we harbor doubts about God’s power to make that person alive again. Jesus assures us: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (Jn 11:25–26).
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your resurrection from the dead, which guarantees our resurrection. Through Your Holy Spirit, grant us faith always to remember that physical death is not the end of true life with You. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.