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Acts 20:

7On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Since Paul was ready to leave the next day, he talked to them and kept on speaking until midnight.

8Now there were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9And a certain young man named Eutychus, seated in the window, was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell from the third story and was picked up dead. 10But Paul went down, threw himself on the young man, and embraced him. “Do not be alarmed!” he said. “He is still alive!”

11Then Paul went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate. And after speaking until daybreak, he departed. 12And the people were greatly relieved to take the boy home alive.

For us today, what lessons can we draw from this incident? This seems a rather strange account of events. Was Eutychus really dead or just knocked out temporarily?

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Luke selected the story of Eutychus (Acts 20) as an illustration of the following principle:

  • Mark 16:20 - And they went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked through them, confirming His word by the signs that accompanied it.
  • Heb 2:4 - and was affirmed by God through signs, wonders, various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.
  • Acts 14:3 - So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who affirmed the message of His grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
  • Acts 2:43 - A sense of awe came over everyone, and the apostles performed many wonders and signs.
  • Rom 15:18, 19 - I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God.

See also Matt 10:8, Mark 16:20, Acts 2:22, 4:30, 5:12, 6:8, 8:6, 13, 14:3, 15:12, 19:11, 2 Cor 12:12, etc.

That is, while signs and wonders were not to be taken as final arbiter of true Gospel preachers (Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22, 2 Thess 2:9, Rev 16:14, predict false miracle by false teachers), nevertheless, such were to be expected to accompany God's missionaries/apostles and preachers. Eutychus is a good example of this.

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Don't sit in upper story windows. The serious message was it gave authenticity to the truth of Paul's message. It showed that he was indeed the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Galatians 2:7 (HCSB): On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, ...

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