Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Acts 20:6 (NASB)
We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.

- The Days of Unleavened Bread is the week long period preceding Passover, so we know this is springtime.

Jewish followers of Jesus (Messianic Jews; Jews For Jesus, etc.) still keep these traditionals feasts today, but see them as symbolic of Jesus Christ.

I've been a member of a church which used to do so as well. There is a danger in celebrating any particular days or liturgies as if they have value in and of themselves. All this "stuff" must be useful for our celebration of what Jesus has done and is doing, or it is "worse than filthy rags."

Furthermore if our practices make Jesus look confusing, "pious," or in any way inaccesible to the community around us, we are misrepresenting him.

Acts 20:9 (NASB)
And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.

- Many a pastor today has been teased about his sermons, based on this event!

Acts 20:12 (NASB)
They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

- Phew! At least there!s a happy ending.

Acts 20:16 (NASB)
... he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

- Pentecost falls fifty days after Passover, so this again helps fix the timing. For Jews it is a celebration of the first fruits of the spring harvest. For Christians it is the day we commemorate the giving of the Holy Spirit, the foundation of this current age of the Church, and a diiferent sort of "spring harvest."

Acts 20:23 (NASB)
except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.

- Paul knows he is heading for some climatic, hard times, and onward he goes.

Acts 20:24 (NASB)
"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

- What follows is an inspiring and challenging exhortation to the church, down through the ages!

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