JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…we came together to break bread.”
November 29, 2009, 10:20 pm
Filed under: E Acts

According to Acts chapter 20 that Luke wrote, Paul had been in Greece, specifically Corinth, for three months during the winter season and wrote his famous letter to the church in Rome. After the winter season traveling back to Jerusalem was still on his mind. His focus was on getting the collection that the Gentile churches had provided Paul and his companions and get it to the poor Christians in Jerusalem “by the day of Pentecost.” Paul was always focused on giving instead of receiving.

Just as he is leaving Corinth the Jewish leaders “made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria.” So instead of going by ship to leave Greece he decides to hike north back through Macedonia. Paul has with him his “companions” those whom he has been training for years now in forming Christian communities through the proclamation of the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sense of how Luke writes this is similar to how he describes Jesus who trained the first disciples. How important the living in community is to not just the body of Christ but for those whom God has called to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus and gathering believers together under the Headship of Jesus Christ! These companions are also those whom Paul has brought with him to help him bring the collection of money to the church in Jerusalem “to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men” (2 Cor. 8:20-21).

Seven of these companions went by ship to Troas while Paul and Luke and some others went through Macedonia until they got to Philippi. Because of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Jewish Passover, Paul spent time with the church their, perhaps Lydia’s house, the jailer’s home, and I’m sure others to encourage them and to share Jesus’ life with each other.

Finally Paul, Luke, and some other of his companions sailed from Philippi to Troas. Sometime before Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Corinth Paul had returned back to Troas and was able “to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door” and a body of Christ was gathered to express the life of Jesus to one another and to their family, friends, and neighbors. Paul and his companions stayed in Troas for seven days enjoying life together with the body of Christ in each others homes. Surely, as he had mentioned to the church in Rome, he spent time with the church to mutually encouraging “each other’s faith,” building each other up in the Lord.

Because Paul was about to set sail for Jerusalem, and perhaps was not going to ever see the people who made up the body of Christ in Troas again, all of the body came together in one home “on the first day of the week…to break bread.” What a tremendously solemn occasion this must have been for everyone, knowing what was about to befall Paul. “Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.” They must have enjoyed a meal together with the Lord’s supper, talked to one another about the week’s time with each other and Paul, perhaps sharing testimonies of what God had been doing through each other, singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, and focused on encouraging one another.

Paul probably realized the immensity of the situation and led by the Spirit of Christ was consumed with sharing the revelation of Jesus Christ to the body! Perhaps he shared about the central themes of what he had written to the Galatian churches a few years ago, perhaps the mystery of Christ that he shared with the churches in Thessalonica and in Corinth, or perhaps the incredible salvation God has given us in Jesus Christ that he had written to the church in Rome. Perhaps Paul used this time for the believers to ask questions and allow Jesus to bring revelation as answers. Whatever the case, what an incredibly charged time for the church this must have been! How my own heart yearns for a revelation of Jesus that consumes me and the body of Christ whom I meet with in such a way! How the body of Christ desires a revelation of Jesus that would consume it so much so that it can never be the same!

The story that Luke tells us sounds very much like a story of the Old Testament prophets. Luke says that “there were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 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. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’ Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.” What an amazing story! Why did this miracle happen? I’m sure there were many reasons, specifically to the building up of the body of Christ. Paul had been in Ephesus for a couple years before this time and it was said that the results of the miracles God had done through Paul was so that “the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” They were opportunities to bring glory to Jesus and to build up the body of Christ. May Jesus so consume the body of Christ that His life is manifested in ways beyond our understanding!

It seems that the ending of his letter to the Roman Christians he had written a couple months earlier is fitting “Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen!” Not only does Jesus want to be known to all peoples through His word but also as He manifests or reveals Himself through His body! When Paul was speaking to the church in Troas perhaps he was describing the wonderful salvation Jesus has given us because of His death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead, a life that is lived now through one another. Perhaps this was an event that God used to dramatically show the believers the power of God to do just that?! Something no one in the church would ever forget no doubt! “The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted”! Absolutely!


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