Thursday, October 13, 2011

Notes From Last Night's Bible Study (Acts 20:1-16)

Bible Study
October 12, 2011

Acts 20:1-16
(Notes taken from Matthew Henry's Commentary and Matthew Poole's Commentary)

Verse 1
And after the uproar. Paul’s leaving Ephesus is an important turning point in his ministry: after this, he will never again preach where Christ had not already been named, as he had so many times up until now (Romans 15:20, “And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,”).

Macedonia. Where Philippi and Thessolonica were located.

Verse 3
the Jews plotted against him. That is, plotted to kill him. What they could not accomplish through appeals to the magistrate, nor through the stirring up of mobs, they would do themselves, in an attempt to stop the spread of the Gospel. John 16:2, “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

Verse 4
Sopater of Berea. Who some think is the same as Sosipater mentioned in Romans 16:21, “Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.

Timothy. To whom Paul wrote two epistles, and who he had left in Ephesus as pastor of the church there. Now Paul brings Timothy with him, which indicates that 1 Timothy was written before this time, since it includes instructions to Timothy about how to establish that church (which it seems would have to be done prior to Timothy leaving it to travel with Paul again). See 1 Tim. 1:3, “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” and 1 Tim 3:14-15, “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Trophimus. Who we read of in Acts 21:28-29, “crying out, ‘Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.’ 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

POSSIBLE ANSWERS: Paul was going to need more help where he was going. He needed the assistance of these able men to build up, strengthen, and teach the Christians and converts he would encounter.

POSSIBLE ANSWER: That they might be further trained up by Paul, to “
fully know his doctrine and life” (2 Tim 3:10)

Verse 5
waited for us at Troas. “Us” Luke rejoins Paul’s group. Remember, we first see Luke joining Paul at Troas, in Acts 16:11, “Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,

Verse 6
the Days of Unleavened Bread. Not because Paul observed these shadows, now that the substance was come (see 1 Cor. 5:7-8, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”), but to mark the time of year. Why would Luke tell this to Theopholis?

in five days joined them at Troas...stayed seven days. So important was it to Paul to go to Troas, to encourage the Christians there (and perhaps even, to have Luke rejoin him?), that he was willing to sail for 5 days, for only a weeks stay in the city!

Verse 7
the first day of the week. Sunday. Also called “The Lord’s Day” since it was the day on which our Lord rose from the dead. It was also the day on which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church. Because of these things, it is the day that Christians are to set aside as a day of worship and rest. It is the Christian Sabbath.Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,Acts 2:1, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” [See ISBE, PentecostI: “As the name indicates (pentekoste), this second of the great Jewish national festivals was observed on the 50th day, or 7 weeks, from the Paschal Feast”]1 Cor. 16:2, “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.John 20:19, 26, “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’...And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’

to break bread. That is, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The practice of the early church was to observe this sacrament weekly. See 1 Cor. 10:16, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Paul...spoke to them. Preaching is always to accompany the observance of the sacraments. OT example: Exodus 24:7-8, “Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, ‘All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.’ 8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.’
NOTE: “What does a seal signify without a writing?” (MH)

continued his message until midnight. Because he had much to tell them, and did not know when, if ever, he should see them again. This is a farewell sermon.

Verse 8
upper room. Though the disciples had met in upper rooms before (Acts 1:13, “And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.”), this is not a stately place to meet. Neither is it convenient, nor, possibly, very comfortable, or even very safe! However, none of those are valid excuse to not be present for the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the Sacraments! When a worship service is set, Christians are obligated to be present.

many lamps. Why? (One possibility: so that the hearers of the sermon maybe able to turn to the Scriptures Paul quoted and see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11, “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”)

Verse 9
young man. A boy. Children are to be present in worship services, and especially, as we read here, during the preaching of the Word. No children’s church in Acts!Nehemiah 8:2, “So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month.Deut 29:10-12, “All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water— 12 that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today,

sinking into a deep sleep. Sinking indicates he was fighting to stay awake but was overpowered by it. Though he was wrong to fall asleep during Paul’s sermon, some compassion must be shown for the boy who was up past his bed time and struggling to stay awake to hear more.

taken up dead. See Jeremiah 9:20-21, “Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a lamentation.2 1 For death has come through our windows, has entered our palaces, to kill off the children—no longer to be outside! and the young men—no longer on the streets!
BUT: Lest we think this boy was more deserving of this death than others there gathered, see
Luke 13:4, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?

Verse 10
fell on him. See Elijah in 1 Kings 17:21, “And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.’” and Elisha in 2 Kings 4:34, “And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.

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