Summary: Eutychus raised from the dead. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Acts 20:1-12:
• In 1 Corinthians 15:32, the apostle Paul makes a cryptic,
• Yet incisive reference to his time in Ephesus:
“I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus”
• That was his description of the frenzied riot he and his companions,
• Had just endured in chapter 19 verses 23-41.
• Snarling and angry, Demetrius and his mob,
• Were ready to tear them all apart in a bloody rage.
• God used a simple town clerk (vs 35)
• To quiet them down and restore reason.
• So what had crescendoed to a roar,
• Soon dissipated into a shuffling murmur as the people went home.
• With peace reestablished and the growing church safe,
• Paul now decides that the time is right to move on.
• Actually, he had already made up his mind to go in chapter 19 verse 21:
• We join him as he packs his bags and charts a course to Macedonia,
Note: Chapter 20 is the start of another change in Paul’s ministry:
• It is noticeable at the beginning of the chapter,
• And more noticeable as we advance through the book.
• Up to now Paul has been involved in pioneer work,
• He has gone into new areas and founded new churches.
• Now in Acts chapter 20 and onwards he goes to established churches,
• And gives them some final advice and encouragement.
Leaving Ephesus, Ministering in Macedonia:
• Paul has laced up his sandals and his suitcase is by the door,
• But before he sets off, he has one more loose end to tie up.
Exhortation (vs 1-2):
“When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia.
He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people,
and finally arrived in Greece,”
• After three years of ministry in Ephesus,
• A good number of people had trusted Christ, they had become disciples.
• Evangelism, sharing the message, isn’t what’s crucial now,
• But exhortation, encouraging these disciples to keep going forward.
• The word for encouragement is used three times, verses 1, 2 & 12.
• And is a key theme throughout this chapter.
Look at one word for a moment:
• This word translated “Encouraging” in the N.I.V.
• Or the word “Embracing” & “Exhortation” in the King James Bible.
It is a great word “Exhortation” but not a word in common usage:
• The Greek word for “exhort” is ‘paraka1e’:
• A word which literally means, “to call alongside, to help.”
‘Para’ means alongside.
• Para-lell bars one bar alongside another.
• Para-chute is a chute alongside.
• The Holy Spirit is called the “Paracltos”
• The called alongside one who helps or comforts us (John 14:26).
• Is when you draw alongside somebody to encourage, to help and to strengthen them,
• Exhortation can mean a variety of things,
• It may be a word of warning, or a word of rebuke.
• It may be a word of comfort or a word of encouragement,
• Exhortation was a gift Paul had,
• And he paused to employ it before leaving the Ephesians and going to Macedonia.
Man said to Billy Graham “He had the gift of criticism”.
• Many have it and that is not from God!