THE FALL OF EUTYCHUS
Acts 20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 7 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. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 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. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 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. 12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
It was the last night of the great Apostle Paul’s ministry with the believers of Troas. Everyone had gathered in the upper chamber for the privilege of hearing from him once again that glorious gospel which he preached. They, of course, had no “New Testament” Bibles! Gutenberg had not even been “invented,” much less his printing press! So each individual believer was a “living epistle,” with Christ – The Word – written upon their hearts! 2 Corin. 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. Therefore all would make themselves available to “read” from the heart of this glorious apostle for his last night with them.
They had procured a third floor meeting room and had to light many lamps, torches, or candles as the darkness began to encroach upon the light of day. This, of course, began to deplete the oxygen, which causes drowsiness. And there was evidently such a crowd that the young people had to sit in such places as Eutychus did, in the window.
But you would think that since the Apostle Paul had to board a ship the next morning for the continuation of his journey towards Jerusalem, that he would have wanted to “have an early night,” and get to bed for the much needed rest. But that was not the Apostle’s way when it came to the gospel! Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. For he allowed nothing to interfere with the sounding forth of the word of truth.
The name, Eutychus means, “well fated.” It is derived from the Greek word that is translated, well done in Matthew 25:21, 23. He is a representative man. He represents the entirety of the human race who were elected in Christ from the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4). For upon the creation of man, as listed in Genesis 1:26-28, we then find the pleasure of the Creator revealed in Genesis 1:31, And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Man had been formed in the purposed concept of God, in that form in which his Son should appear, for he is that very image of God! Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Let us now see how Eutychus’ fall has a message for fallen man.
Eutychus was in an exalted position. Acts 20:8. And man was said to have also been made so! Psalm 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. This verse in the Interlinear Bible actually reads that man was made to “lack a little from God.” Therefore the height of his previous position shows us just how far we have fallen into the depravity of the unregenerate soul. And we must continue to remember this fall and seek for the mercies of Christ every day to battle our carnal nature and it’s fleshly desires! Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Eutychus was in an illuminated chamber. Acts 20:8. And before man fell he walked with God in spiritual and intellectual fellowship! And can you think of a better name for a cow, than “cow?” Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
It was only after the fall into sin that man, refusing to recognize God as Sovereign had his mind darkened! Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Eutychus fell from these great heights to his death. Acts 20:9 Settle it, dear Reader! Man didn’t just slip on a banana peel and spring his ankle. He completely fell into spiritual death! THAT is the condition of the lost sinner! He is graveyard dead! And relief from death does not require a religious decision! It requires a spiritual resurrection!
For either man walked out of that garden as a dead man, or God is a liar! It has to be one way or the other. God said, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:17). And man did eat and therefore, he died that very day. He died spiritually and could no longer walk with God, who is Spirit! (John 4:24). And spiritual death brings on physical death. And physical death brings on eternal death!
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Eutychus fell in the presence of one who had also died! Acts 20:10 Eutychus fell to his death in the presence of the Apostle Paul who had also physically died and had been resurrected. Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. This had to be the time when Paul was caught up to the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2,4).
And man fell in the presence of one who was already slain! Revelation 13:8 speaks of, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before man ever fell and had a need for salvation, the Eternal Son had already submitted Himself, on behalf of the Godhood, to death, so that humans would not have to be immediately committed into chains of darkness, as were the angels when they sinned! (2 Peter 2:4). Glory to God for these words: Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. (Job 33:24). Matt. 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Eutychus was restored by Paul’s personal presence. Acts 20:10. This verse instructs us that Paul fell on him! Where did the apostle come up with this procedure? Well, both Elijah used it when he raised the widow’s son, and Elisha, when he raised the Shunammite’s son. (1 Kings 17:21,22; 2 Kings 4:32-35). So this procedure was passed down from the Old Testament prophets to this New Testament Apostle.
But where did the prophets come up with it? They received it from the method in which God granted man’s first life! Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Consider also this verse: Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. The origin of all things is God! Col. 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And this is the same method in which the Lord Jesus, who was God granting that life to Adam, granted spiritual life to his disciples. John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
The Resurrector then continued with the word and breaking of bread until the dawning of a new day! Acts 20:11 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.
You would have thought that Paul would have been so excited about the resurrection of Eutychus, that he would have wanted those present to speak of nothing else but his power in this miracle. But, not so! For nothing can distract the Resurrector from providing his word, so essential to the souls of his elect! Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Dear Reader, there have been vast changes in this world, and some very drastic, just within the life span of this writer. But there has never been a single moment when God has failed to avail those with ears to hear with his precious word! Isaiah 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
For it is by that word, (which is the Person of God, himself! – John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.), with which our very universe is sustained for all life! For both the world before Noah’s flood, and ours now afterward, are sustained by the authority of the Word of god! 2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
The resurrection of Eutychus brought great joy to those who had seen him dead! Acts 20:12. In the 43 years in which I have tried to pastor God’s sheep, I have found that if there is anything that makes the Lord’s people joyful in their souls, it is the salvation to one who was previously dead in trespasses and sin! It is a most blessed thing to see a godly grandmother, or granddad embrace with tears, the grandchild, for whom they have long prayed, upon their profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And even if there is no blood relationship to the newly born believer, the rest of the saints are filled with joy over God’s expression of grace and mercy. For it brings back to themselves the vivid awareness of their own salvation, aiding them in fresh thanksgiving to the Savior!
It is a unique joy that none but those new creations in Christ can know! 2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Pastor Gene Breed