Who Is Eutychus?
There are several historical figures by the name of Eutychus, which is Greek for “fortunate.”
- an early Christian theologian (sometimes spelled “Eutyches”) c. 380 –c. 456, This particular man was a presbyter and archimandrite at Constantinople who opposed Nestorius and was himself condemned a heretic for diminishing Christ’s humanity.
- Exarch of Ravenna (sometimes spelled “Eutychius” c. 727—c. 752. He died when the Lombards conquered Ravenna.
- a young man of Troas, mid 1st century AD.
My favorite, though, is the latter.
This particular Eutychus was an older teen, or maybe in his very early twenties. One evening he went to church possibly to hear Paul preach or else simply because he was a Christian. We know that “church” at the time meant an assembly in someone’s home. Apparently this “someone” lived in an apartment, because this particular assembly was held on the third floor. We also know it was evening because many lamps were lit.
Paul was a long winded preacher. Apparently it was warm, although our young man may have been tired of standing to hear Paul. So he sat on the ledge of a window. As luck (or rather misfortune) would have it, he fell asleep listening to Paul preach. And he fell out of the third story window—not so fortunate.
Paul interrupted his sermon, went down to the street below where Eutychus lay dead, Paul then resuscitated him, went back to the assembly and continued his sermon. So maybe Eutychus was fortunate after all.
After the sermon the assembly had their Eucharist. Paul continued to talk to the assembly until dawn before catching the ship to Assos.
For the biblical account of this episode see Acts 20:7-12.