Acts 20

Travels through Macedonia and Greece 1
Eutychus dies and is raised 7
Sailing 13
Called to go to Jerusalem 22
Parting blessing 32
Tearful parting 36
Text Comments
.1 ¶ And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
 2  And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,
 3  And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
.4  And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
.5  These going before tarried for us at Troas.
.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.

  1 - Disciples Followers of Christ. Compare 2co0907.
  3 - Jews laid wait They thus planned to attack him and the Spirit sent him in a different direction.
  5 - Us See on ac1617. Find Troas on the map of Greece, southeast of Philippi which is near the top.
The mud brick house from modern Derbe reminds us that a lot of people live in poverty. Image ©
.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.
  This passage is often cited as indication that the day of worship had changed from Sabbath to Sunday. But nothing is mentioned of worship although they likely praised and prayed. If it had been a new day or way of worship, it seems that Paul would have mentioned it and that Luke would have recorded what Paul said about this new time. Consider why they met when they did. The ship Paul had planned to take was was to leave the next morning v13. Also see on v7 for "day" at the right.
  The fact is, God doesn't change mal0306, ps11989, mt0517ff. A close look at the "Lord's Day" verse is also convincing. See on re0110.
   7 - First day The practice of "breaking bread" was a continuation of the daily fellowship begun in Jerusalem after Pentecost ac0246. Paul had been with them for several days and was about to leave. This would have been reason to have a farewell service. The term "break bread" was a Jewish idiom meaning, "to eat a meal." It can mean that in the Bible lu2435 but often indicates observing the Lord's Supper (communion). Of course the Lord's Supper is a special time for breaking bread. I have participated in this as part of a simple meal. We have no instructions that this should be done only in a church or that clergy should be present or that it should be on any specific day. It's not bad in church with clergy or elders, but we need to understand the broader significance.
  Notice that they gathered on the "first day" to break bread (communion) but that the meal didn't actually happen until after midnight which was still the first day but also very early Sunday morning.
  The numbered days began at sundown le2332. The seventh day is Sabbath and begins Friday at sunset. This makes the first day (of the next week) begin at sunset on Saturday. Our whole story of the meeting, the death and restoration of Eutychus, and the communion happened during the dark part of the 24-hour first day, that is at night. The communion would have happened very early Sunday morning.
  7 - Day The Jews also considered the light part of the 24 hours to be the day jn1109. Thus the gathering could have been before dark. In fact this seems more likely. Their celebration of comunion would then have been early Monday morning. Compare ge0105.
  7 - Preached The Greek word actually means "conversed."
  8 - Many lights Oil-fed torches or lamps. The reason for this may have been to avoid misunderstanding. A rumor charged Christians with doing bad things in the dark of night.
  9 - Long preaching There may be a good lesson in this.
  10 - Broke bread This we may understand as the communion service.
.13 ¶ And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
14  And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.
 15  And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.
 16  For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

  13 - We went ... ship Luke is writing. The distance was about 35 miles (56 km.).
  14 - Assos ... Mitylene See map, upper left.
The picture shows the gateway of the city of Assos, from The Life and Epsistles of St. Paul, 1872.
.17 ¶ And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
 18  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
 19  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
 20  And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
 21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
  17 - Called the elders He would not have time to visit them at Ephesus.
.22  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
 23  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
.24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
 25  And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
 26  Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
 27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
.28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
.29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
 30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
.31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

  28 - Flock Compare 1pe0502.
  29 - Wolves False doctrine would come into the church.
  31 - Tears See on 2co0204.

.32  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
 33  I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
 34  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
.35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  32 - Commend From paratithemi. Compare 1pe0419. Correctly understood as "commit." Paul calls for passing on the truth.
  35 - More blessed to give Compare ex3015.
.36 ¶ And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
 37  And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
 38  Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Additional note on verse 7 about Paul's meeting on the first day
Another possibility for understanding
o The writer, Luke, was apparently a Gentile convert and could have used the Roman midnight-to-midnight days for the weeks. This is almost certainly not the case because he had just mentioned the feast of unleavened bread v6 which assumed the Jewish calendar for reckoning time. Also see on  John 20:19 jn2019.
Acts home
Commentary home