Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Learning from Eutychus

Today's post is a bit of a different tack than the norm as it's more devotional in nature. It's part of some recent pondering I've been doing on the subject of how we commonly approach Scripture these days in "McNugget" fashion. We read a passage of Scripture and think of the most common applications used, but fail to see the other wonderful truths and nuggets in these passages. How often have you looked at a passage of Scripture, knowing the verses and events by heart, but one day you see something in that passage you've never seen before?

The incident with Eutychus in Acts 20:9-12 is a good example. I'll post it here:

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. But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him." When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

Now, most lessons or sermons I have heard dealing with this incident focus on the miracle - the Lord raising the boy from the dead through Paul. And that's certainly a great part of the lesson. But has anyone ever wondered what God was doing in the life of Eutychus himself? Was Eutychus an indolent, inattentive young man whose mind routinely wandered during prayer (a fault of mine) or during sermons? Was he simply and genuinely overtired? Had he fallen into some sin that God needed to correct? Who knows. God in His sovereignty didn't tell us.

Nonetheless, falling to his death had to have been quite a shock, both to Eutychus and to Paul's audience. What happened with Eutychus afterward? Did he make it a point to consider this a wake-up call and renew his commitment to the Lord with zeal? Was he quietly and humbly thankful to the Lord for raising him? Did his witness to others gain a new fire and depth? I hope so. (EDITED TO ADD)

Scripture doesn't give us specific answers to these questions, but they are worth pondering. And as we ponder these questions, the Holy Spirit will guide us to other Scriptures that address the issues therein. Can we see any similarities in ourselves and Eutychus' possible issues?

There are many, many other Scripture passages like this. The main applications are great and true, useful in training God's people in righteousness. But let's keep digging and sifting. The rich nuggets gleaned through thought and true biblical contemplation are priceless.

Things like this are the results of true "meditation" on God's Word. You won't get it from picking a word for a sanctified mantra and sounding the OM out into the ether.

No comments: