A friend once borrowed my car and returned it to me totaled after he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Thankfully and miraculously, no one was injured (and yes, we are still friends). The wreck was upsetting, but at the end of the day, it was just a car.
This incident is a reminder that there are times and places when sleep is good, and there are times and places when sleep is not good. We would all agree that falling asleep at the wheel is not good. Some may debate whether or not sleeping in class is bad. I would say that it is bad, although I must confess I have tried it a time or two in my educational career.
What about sleeping in church? Good or bad? Again, I would say sleeping in church is not good, though it may be understandable if the sermon is long and boring. Here at Calvary, we work hard to avoid boring, but I must admit I do go long at times.
In Acts 20:7-12 we read of an unfortunate incident of a young man falling asleep. For Eutychus, his inability to stay awake ended with him falling to his death from a third-story window.
Thankfully for Eutychus, his name means “fortunate”, and fortunately that day, God desired to use Paul to bring him back to life. This resurrection miracle was one of many moments in the Bible when God chose to bring a dead person back to life so that his or her story could be a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection power.
You see, the point of Acts 20:7-12 is not to teach the importance of staying awake; the object lesson is to point to the power of the Gospel. The message and hope of the Gospel is that Jesus came to earth, gave His life, and rose again so that you and I could not just be made better; He rescued us so that we could be made alive. His resurrection made it possible for us to have a life that is filled with pleasure, meaning, hope, and peace.
This life can only be found by faith in Him and not in any exercise of humanitarian good will or act of service. You cannot buy your way, love your way, or bribe your way into a relationship with God. In our sin, we are dead. Read Ephesians 2:1-10 to better understand this reality.
I am so grateful that I now experience peace in any trial, hope in any affliction, and joy in any difficulty. This is made possible because Christ lives in me. He wants to live in you, too. To find out more, visit here and let us know how we can help: https://calvaryga.com/its-all-about-jesus/
Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 2, p. 156). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
Barrett, C. K. (2004). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (p. 954). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.