Miracles followed Jesus and his disciples. But no miracle is as dramatic as someone rising from the dead. The story of Eutychus who was raised from the dead by Paul is elaborated in Acts.

 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. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 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. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man 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 took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12)

On a lighter note, falling asleep during sermons, which is rampant in today’s churches, more because of insipid preaching than anything else, had its origins with Eutychus. But neither was Paul like the common preacher of today, nor was this a boring talk devoid of content and spirit. This story is primarily one of an amazing miracle done at a crucial moment.

We do hear stories of people having near-death, out of body experiences. The miracles described in the Bible, as in the story of Eutychus, however are different in that they are deliberate acts of faith by facilitators who bring the person back to life. What is involved in this act? A combination of astute perception of the will of God that the time has not come for the person concerned to depart this life combines with an incredible faith that moves in the spiritual realm to bring the soul of the departed person back to his body.

Almost always, there is reference to the accompaniment of the person’s sickness being restored. In this case it is likely that Eutychus would have had traumatic injuries that though initially were significant enough to cause death, were now adequately reversed for him to be taken home. The movement of the soul, back to the body is undoubtedly God’s work and therefore brings healing along with it.

Most other recorded instances of people being raised from the dead in the Bible also involved young people, who succumbed to death due to unfortunate circumstances. The death of a young person is usually far more difficult to face for a family than that of an old person. It portrays a life that could have meant so much, cut short by a twist of fate. Imagine the relief and the comfort that this young community of believers would have had in taking Eutychus back home alive!

Here was Paul all set to go out on his journey to Jerusalem where he would be arrested. This was the last meeting this group would have with him. In an age where there was barely any communication and the church was struggling to, in fact survive, all that these believers would have with them would be memories of what Paul told them and above all what Paul accomplished for Eutychus on that fateful night.

And as the church would grow and many early believers would even pay for their faith with their very lives, it is miracles like Eutychus that would encourage them to hold on to that which defies death unto eternity.


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