#carmelprays – Acts 20:1-16
Opening Song: There Is A Redeemer
Read Scripture: Acts 20:1-16
This passage covers the second incident of someone being raised from the dead in the book of Acts, this time by Paul instead of Peter. After spending time in Macedonia and Greece to preach the gospel and encourage believers there, Paul’s ministry brought him and numerous companions (including the author, Luke) to Troas (v1-6). There he was preaching in an upper room when a youth named Eutychus dozed off and fell out of a third-story window. According to Luke, a doctor, he was pronounced dead (v7-9). This freak accident with tragic consequences must have been devastating to everyone present, especially since this young man was clearly eager to hear the Word, only to have his life cut short by a momentary lapse in concentration. Remarkably, however, Paul gathered Eutychus’ prone form in his arms and pronounced that his life had been restored to him (v10). And indeed, Eutychus was taken away alive, to the joy and relief of everyone there.
This account is very clearly a testament to God’s great power – Paul’s ability to restore people to life was not because he had supernatural powers but because the Holy Spirit was working through him. It also acted as a clear sign that Paul was a legitimate teacher of the gospel, removing any lingering doubts among the hearers and his detractors. The almost mundane setting of this extraordinary miracle is proof that miracles were not about show and flashiness. It occurred among a gathering of believers at night, to a boy that died after a freak accident and without any performative rituals. Rather, The Spirit stirred Paul to save Eutychus, an unremarkable young man that was personally valued and loved by God nonetheless. To the onlookers, it must have been a huge encouragement to keep going in their faith after witnessing such a miraculous and almost casual display of the power the Spirit has over life and death.
We are unlikely to see such miraculous resurrections in our lifetimes today. Indeed, it was rare enough in the time of the early church. But that doesn’t mean we cannot still marvel at the greatness of God demonstrated in this passage, as well as his love for his children. Like the believers at Troas, we can be comforted by the knowledge that God has saved us from eternal death and damnation by sending His son Jesus Christ to the cross to bear the punishment that we deserve for our rebellion against Him. God raised Eutychus back to life here on earth, but He has raised every one of us who trusts in Him to life in an eternal paradise, where we will be able to worship Him in all His greatness.
Pray in Response
Father, thank You for giving us Your Son – Jesus to be our Redeemer. Thank You for leaving us Your Spirit – till Your work on earth is done. This is the glorious and living hope that we can have as Your people. Remind us of this blessing every day, even as we go through challenges in life. Strengthen us with Your truths – that we are not facing life’s challenges alone. You have already brought us through life’s greatest challenge – we have been redeemed, we are now victors in Christ, and we have Your Spirit living in us to guide us, teach us, and empower us to overcome in Your name. So let faith arise in us. We anticipate the mighty works You will continue to do in our lives and situations. Grant us open eyes and sensitive hearts to see Your works and live in awe and praise. Amen.
Response Song: Living Hope
By Emma Chai