The Man Who Fell Asleep in Church

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“As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below.” — Acts 20:9, NLT


A friend shared an intriguing scripture passage with me. In Acts the 20th chapter, verse 9, we find a man named Eutychus. Side note – the name Eutychus means “fortunate.”

In the text, Eutychus is sitting on a windowsill listening to the Apostle Paul preach. It seems that Paul had been preaching for a long time. Eutychus became so drowsy that he finally fell asleep and fell three stories to his death.

What an unfortunate turn of events.

If we’re honest, we’ve all been in this place. You’re sitting in a Sunday morning worship service, and it seems the pastor will never stop.

While sitting in the pew, your eyelids feel like 25-pound weights, and no matter how you move, you can’t find a suitable position to keep you awake.

Then it happens. Before you know it, a lapse of time has occurred, and the good reverend is ready to close and give the benediction.

No, our fate is not like that of Eutychus in a physical sense, but spiritually, the outcome could be considered the same. Snoozing on God for an extended period of time can result in a slow spiritual death. The word of God gives life ( Matthew 4:4) and increases our faith (Romans 10:17). When we go without, it deprives us of the spiritual essentials needed to sustain life.

Eutychus’s untimely death was not the end. When Paul heard of his plight, he threw himself upon his body, and life returned to him — much like Elijah and Elisha did to the young men in 1 Kings 17:21 and 2 Kings 4:34-35.

Paul was a symbol of Christ’s power, energy, and life. As in the case of Eutychus, when we find ourselves in a state of spiritual drowsiness or slumber, Christ can overshadow, refresh, and renew our physical beings. David said it this way, “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3), meaning the Good Shepherd brings or returns my living being to the state of life before the fall where Adam co-habituated in the Garden with God, where there was no such thing as being depleted, tired, and exhausted.

Maybe if Eutychus had been awake spiritually, he might have been able to stay awake physically.

So, what is our takeaway today?

If you’re feeling spiritually sleepy and tired and as if you’re about to fall off the ledge, shake yourself and wake up. Let the refreshing word of God breathe renewed life into your body today.


Join me next time for Coffee on The Couch.