35 Question 1

To get the complete story of Eutychus, let’s read Acts 20:7-12, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”

There is so much to be learned from this short incident.  We know from verse six of the chapter that this occurrence was in Troas.  It was on the first day of the week that the disciples came together to break bread.  The wording here shows us that this was much more than coming together to share a meal.  The breaking of bread often refers to the remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ as he instituted on the very night that he was betrayed into the hands of men to be crucified.  He gave us a loaf and a cup to symbolize His own body and blood given as a sacrifice for our sins.  To those who know the Lord as their savior, the Lord has requested that we remember Him in this way.  Notice that it is not merely the people who came together here, but it was as disciples that they came together to break bread.  Afterwards, Paul preached to them.  The Greek word for preach here would better be translated ‘discoursed’.  That same word is often translated ‘reasoned’ in other verses.  Paul was not preaching the Gospel to the lost; he was discussing the truth of God’s Word to fellow believers.  Because the remembrance of the Lord is only for believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we can rightly assume that those in Paul’s audience were believers and he was teaching them precious truths from the Lord.  Notice, too, that the disciples did not gather together to hear Paul speak.  No, they gathered together to break bread, and Paul spoke to them afterwards.

We don’t know what time of day the disciples came together, but soon it was dark.  We learn they were gathered, not only in an upper room, but in a third story room.  Because it was night, we see that there were many lights that lit up this upper chamber.  Sitting in this third story window was a young man named Eutychus. At this point, let’s pause and take notice of a few things.

None of the inspired Word of God is given to us just for historical knowledge.  The Bible, from cover to cover, is given to us to minister to us.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”  We also learn in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”  The Lord did not record the story of Eutychus just for a historical record.  It was written for our learning.  So, what can we learn from this incident?

Taking note of a few of the details will help us tremendously.  First, it was night.  Inside, where the Word of God was being taught, there was much light.  Outside, there was darkness.  Secondly, the disciples were separated from the world by being elevated to the third floor.  Thirdly, there was a window and a young man sitting in this window.  In this window, he was neither in the room nor outside the room.  He was in the middle.  What a dangerous place to be!  He was a young man.  I wonder why no one warned him of the danger of sitting in such a high window.

This young man, Eutychus, fell.  Actually, he fell twice.  First he fell into a deep sleep and then he fell out of the window.  We read in Acts 20:9 that Eutychus, “…fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.”  What exactly does that mean?  Was he dead or did the people just think he was dead?  The writer of the book of Acts was Luke.  Luke was a doctor, as we learn from reading Colossians 4:14 which says, “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”  He could probably tell if Eutychus was really dead, but he just tells us that he was taken up dead, or in plain language, assumed to be dead.  The Apostle Paul came down from the third story room and stretched himself out on top of Eutychus.  This is so much like the incident where Elisha laid upon the young boy and restored him to life in 2 Kings, chapter 4.  Notice Paul’s words here. He says in Acts 20:10, “…Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.”  In Luke, chapter 8, we have the incident where the Lord Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead.  We read in Luke 8:55, “And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.”  In the incident of Eutychus, we don’t read that his spirit returned to him, only that his life is in him”, indicating that he probably was not dead after all, he only appeared to be dead.

The lesson for us here is so valuable.  As Christians, we are a blessed people.  We can worship the Lord in the breaking of bread; we can receive the ministry the Lord has for us through others.  We are elevated above the world; we are blessed with great light from the Word.  Indeed, as the Lord’s people, we are extremely well off, and that’s exactly what the name Eutychus means: well off.  But there is danger.  We can try to sit in the window where we are neither in the company of fellow believers nor are we in the world.  But, sooner or later, we will fall asleep, or become apathetic about the Lord’s things and we will fall into the darkness of the world.  For those who are truly saved, the Lord would proclaim, “his life is in him”, but we want more than that.  We want to be active in the company of believers; be active in the worship of the Lord; active in the ministry of His Word, either learning or teaching.  We want to be awake to the privileges and responsibilities of being children of the Lord.  As we read in Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”