© 2004 by Jerry L. Croasmun
"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."-- Acts 20:9 (NIV)
Acts 20:6-12 introduces us to a young man named, "Eutychus" who lived in Troas. The Apostle Paul was preaching late one night in an upper room in Troas when Eutychus became very sleepy and fell out of the third floor window. In Acts 20:9 we read, "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."
This is a fun story to try and convince people they should not sleep in church or else they might end up like Eutychus; graveyard dead. However, this is not a fairy tale and God's word is alive and active. (See Hebrews 4:12). In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." But, what does Eutychus falling out of a window in Troas over 2,000 years ago have to do with us today? A close look at Acts 20:6-12 will hopefully answer our question.
In Acts 20:7 we read, On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight." In Acts 17:18 Paul was in Athens and we read, "Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection." In Acts chapters 23 and 24 Paul is on trial for sharing this same resurrection message. Although the text of Acts chapter 20 does not reveal Paul's sermon topic, it is highly likely that he was also sharing this topic with the believers in Troas when they through Eutychus saw and experienced first-hand Christ's resurrection power.
A similar story can be found in I Kings chapter 17. A widow living in Zarephath had a son and he died. God used Elijah to bring the widow's son back to life. In I Kings 17:21-23 we read, "Then he [Elijah] stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, 'O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!' The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, 'Look, your son is alive!'" Read also the devotional article, "The Zarephath Widow."
Likewise in Acts 20:10-11 we read, "Paul went down, threw himself on the young man [Eutychus] and put his arms around him. 'Don't be alarmed,' he said. 'He's alive!' Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left." The people of Troas were very happy and in Acts 20:12 we read, "The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted."
The miracle of Eutychus should be one of encouragement and motivation for all believers. For Jesus said in John 14:12, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." May we learn from the story of Eutychus and begin sharing with others the good news of Christ's resurrection power.
(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW
Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.