Sleeping through the sermon

Acts 20:9-10  Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.  Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”

AsleepHospital emergency rooms hear a lot of strange stories, I am sure. We humans have come up with some amazingly creative ways to injure ourselves.  You did what?  How did you say you broke your arm?  You cut your finger with a what?  Tell me again how you managed to…?  But I bet they’ve never heard this one: I fell asleep during a sermon.

Poor Eutychus.  It was so late; he was so tired.  The text says that Paul talked on and on.  Can you blame the guy?  I mean, this was a really long sermon!  There he was, sitting in the window because there were probably no chairs left.  The house was packed because Paul was in town and he ended up with a window seat.  Next thing you know… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Three stories down… thud!   Um, where did Eutychus go?  Did anyone see him get up to go to the bathroom?  There he lay dead, outside on the ground.   So outside they all went and Paul raised him back from the dead.

This is a strange story to say in the least, and I wonder what the application is supposed to be.  Maybe it’s, “don’t fall asleep during sermons.”  Yes, that’s it.  I like that one!  Or maybe the application is, “preach shorter sermons.”  I bet some of you like that choice.  Or possibly it is, “don’t sit in an open window.”  Mom’s across the world vote for that.  But seriously, what do I take away from this?

I see a couple of things that strike me in this passage.  First, God heals.  Like supernatural, raised from the dead, healing.  That’s pretty awesome!  If you are going to die while listening to God’s Word, it’s possible He will raise you from the dead.  But the second thing I see is what strikes me most.  After Paul raised him from the dead, they ate some food, and then he kept preaching.  He just about killed a guy who fell asleep during his forever sermon… and he kept on preaching!  Why?  Because he had more to say.  They had more to learn.  The Word of God needs to be taught!  So don’t stop just because you are tired.  Don’t quit because your listeners are weary.  Keep on bringing the Good News of Jesus!

*Have you felt like giving up telling people about Jesus because they aren’t paying attention? 

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