Meditation number 76

Seven days in Troas (Acts 20 :6-12)

The Spirit de God records in 2 Tim. 4 :13, that the apostle Paul had, in Troas, left his cloke, his books and his parchments in the home of brother Carpus. The name Carpus means « fruit »; may the Lord give us to be Carpuses also; that is to say, be fruit of the apostle’s labor, in fact riper fruits of the travail of the soul of our blessed and precious Savior. The cloke suggest to us his manner of life, his testimony which should be continued (2 Tim. 3 :10, 1 Cor. 11 :1). What a beautiful garment is the cloke of the apostle (Col. 3 :14). The books and the parchments speak to us of written things; the most precious writing of all, incomparable, the Word of God (2 Tim. 3 :16) but let us not neglect the written ministry the Lord has given us through the pen of faithful servants who have taught us the Word of God and rightly divided the word of truth (2 Tim. 2 :15) and whose sound teaching hold fast the faithful word according to the doctrine (Titus 1:9). Is this cloke; are these books and parchments found with you?

Paul is the most prolific of the New Testament writers (14 books out of 27, if we allow him as author of the epistle to the Hebrews). His ministry concerns the assembly, the church to whom the Lord would reveal all His counsel by his service (Actes 20 :27, Col. 1 :24-28). As is it widely known, the number seven presents the thought of that which is complete. These seven days of the apostle in Troas (v.6) suggest a picture of the complete abridged history of his ministry. These seven verses (Acts 20 :6-12) would thus conceal a treasure for those who have received light as to Paul’s doctrine, the sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1 :10, 4 :6, 2 Tim. 3;10).

In verse seven, we see the results of the ministry of the Spirit through the apostle. The saints gathered around the Lord on the first day of the week (Sunday) to break bread. We find the apostle there exercising his ministry until the middle of the night. In like manner the Lord opens our understanding that we should be attentive to the things spoken by Paul as they are the very things the Lord wants to teach us (Acts 16 :14b, 1 Cor. 14 :37, 2 Tim. 2 :7). But, as here, if we follow the history of the assembly on the earth, the apostle’s discourse was interrupted in the middle of the night. It will only resume later and continue until the break of day.

In verse eight we see a picture of the effect produced in the upper room by the light the truth brings to those under the sound of it. So there were many lights (really lamps as with the virgins in Matthew 25), light bearers, in the upper room where they were gathered (Mat. 18 :20). The upper room was on the third loft, v.9 – figure of third heaven ministry– see 2 Cor. 12:2. Remember that the Lord instituted this feast of remembrance in an upper room where He wanted to be alone with his own before His sufferings and death. What a precious thing to realize His desire now after His sufferings and death, to have us anew around Himself in an upper room so we can show His death till He comes. (1 Cor. 11 :23-26) and to be edified together.

V. 9-10 - Here the interruption of the apostle’s ministry is caused by the fall of Eutychus whose name means fortunate, well off, rich. A picture also of the assembly, which, while still young relatively, trafficked with the world to get rich, falling asleep and loosing the consciousness of its great privileges. So also, through the centuries, the things taught by the apostle were lost, impairing the pursuit of what 2 Tim. 2 :2 presents. In reality, it is by the ministry of the Spirit by the writings of the apostle that the truth has been restored to us. This incident, this fall, allows us to see that the apostle Paul not only preached but he acted too. He is the one who went down to the young man, showed love to him before all, and was the instrument used of the Lord to bring him back to life. It is a practical exhortation to each of us who, as the apostle, are called to show, by our actions towards all, this love wherewith we have been and are loved, a love which has to overflow from our hearts to those all around who nee it so badly, specially those who have been victims of a fall. The apostle’s cloke must be put on by those who claim to be of his teaching. Notice now that the Spirit of God took care to speak of the young man’s being brought back only in verse 12, after the apostle had spoken until the break of day. So now, for our beloved ones who have gone before, we have as in verse 10, the words of comfort of the apostle as a source of consolation (1 Thes. 4 :13-18). But what extreme consolation (French Darby) when at the break of day, all our beloveds will be brought back alive, at the coming of our Lord Jesus.
V. 11 – The apostle ascended back up into the upper room. He resumed his ministry – this is exactly what the Spirit of God has done by the awakening that took place over a hundred years ago when the truths lost were restored and that brothers and sisters were again gathered in the upper room to be with the Lord and to break bread again. At Troas this was the next day, certainly the brethren had broken bread on the Lord’s Day. What a beautiful picture then. The breaking of bread and the ministry of Paul until midnight, followed by an interruption in the middle of the night, followed by a going back into the upper room, the breaking of bread taking place and the apostle’s ministry resuming and continuing until the break of day. Friends, do you see these things?
v. 12 - Then comes the great consolation at the break of day (literally at the shining according to the Greek word used here which means to see clearly), when we will clearly see all our beloved who have gone before to be with Christ and greater still, incomparably greater when we see our Beloved in all His glory, Him by Whom all these consolations will have come to us.

Are there any Carpuses among us?

NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to:

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