The name Eutychus means “fortunate.” The young man that bore this name was indeed fortunate. For he was resurrected from the dead by the apostle Paul in his third missionary trip. Paul sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined with his helpers at Troas. There, they stayed seven days (Acts 20:6). Luke as an eyewitness recorded the following story there:
Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.”
“But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.Acts 20:7–12
In the ancient Orient, the upper floor of a home was usually a place for gatherings. In most houses, a window was probably an opening in the wall with no frame. The young man Eutychus, who sat at a window, was heavy with sleep probably because of the late hour and the heat and the smoke of the oil lamps. So, he fell from the third story and was found dead in the courtyard of the house.
The incident caused fear and sadness to the believers. But the apostle Paul calmed them and threw himself on the young man. He put his arms around him asking God to reveal His power and resurrect the young man. Upon receiving the assurance that God has heard his prayer, Paul declared to the believers, don’t be alarmed for the young man is alive.
Was Eutychus Really Dead?
There have been many discussions as to whether the raising of Eutychus was a miracle or the young man was simply in a “swoon-like state.” However, the Bible leaves us without a doubt about this question for Luke the physician confirmed that the young man “was taken up dead” (Acts 20: 9) and then added that “they brought the young man in alive” (verse 12).
Thus, the life that had ended by falling was restored by the prayer of the apostle Paul. This supernatural act reflected the actions of Elijah (1 Kings 17:21) and of Elisha (2 Kings 4:34) in the Old Testament. Jesus also performed similar miracles of raising the dead (Luke 8:49–56; John 11) as well as Peter (Acts 9:36–42) in the New Testament. And Jesus promised that His followers would do like His miracles after His ascension (John 14:12).
After that, Paul returned to the upper room and continued his preaching. And the church was comforted by the resurrection of Eutychus (Acts 20:12). They could sing with David saying, “You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples” (Psalm 77:14)
In His service,