Western side of the Cascades.
Monday, 11 September 2023
But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Acts 20:10
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
The words more exactingly read, “And Paul, having descended, fell upon him and having embraced, said, ‘Be not agitated, for his life is in him’” (CG).
In the previous verse, Eutychus was overcome by sleep and fell out of the third-story window. He was taken up dead. However, it now says, “And Paul, having descended, fell upon him.”
It is certain that the people in the room that saw him fall shouted out and rushed down the stairs. These stairs are generally a staircase on the outside of the house. One after another, the people would have rushed down in a state of anxiety. As the line allowed, Paul would have joined in the descent.
At such a time, most people would be standing there looking at the corpse. Those who knew him well would begin to start moaning and wailing. The women would be crying. Paul, obviously feeling the power of the Spirit, fell upon Eutychus. Luke next notes, “and having embraced.”
There are similar accounts in 1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4. The prophets Elijah and Elisha both raised dead young men after physically joining to them. In Paul’s embracing of Eutychus, it next says that Paul stated, “Be not agitated, for his life is in him.”
The word translated as “agitated,” thorubeo, is used for the fifth and last time in the New Testament. It signifies to make an ado, disturb, agitate, etc. The idea here is certainly the tumult of sadness over death. The cries would increase, and some would shriek or cry out, “O God!” Paul’s words are given to silence this and to give them the comfort of knowing that all was ok. Welcome back, Eutychus.
“LIFE” application: The word “life” in this verse is from the Greek word psuché. This is the soul. There are three words in Greek that are used to describe the state of what is going on within a person.
The first, psuché, is the soul. It is that which exists from conception, and which is tied to the body. However, even if the body dies, the soul continues, albeit in an unnatural state.
The next is pneuma – wind, breath, or spirit. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of man. This is the rational soul or the mental disposition.
The third is the zóé, or life. This speaks of the vitality of the being, even plant life.
These three words correspond exactingly to the Hebrew words nephesh, ruakh, and khai.
In the case of Paul’s words, he literally says, “his soul is in him.” As the soul is the part that actually doesn’t die, saying “life” explains the matter clearly to us. His soul returned to his dead body. To understand this, Paul says this in 2 Corinthians –
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
Paul, speaking of our physical bodies, here called “our earthly house,” notes that if a person is separated from this earthly body (it is destroyed), he is unclothed and naked. This was the state of Eutychus. His body was broken from the fall and his soul (psuché) had departed.
This is an unnatural state. The soul of man continues to exist, but the zóé, or vitality of the body, has ended. This is what happened to Eutychus. In the ending of his physical body’s zóé, the vehicle by which his soul went about could no longer sustain it. Therefore, his soul departed from the physical body. Unless the rapture happens first, this will happen to each of us. However, God has promised us, by giving His Spirit (His Pneuma) as a guarantee, that this will be corrected.
One can see that the Pneuma of God is connected not to the corruptible body but to the soul. We have been given a guarantee that our soul will be “further clothed.” The meaning is that we shall be given an eternal and incorruptible body. It is hard to figure out how people fail to understand what is being said here, but it is as common as pages in a book.
Our soul has been reconnected to God through an act of grace. At that moment, we are given His Spirit as a guarantee of our future redemption. The physical body no longer has any bearing on our eternal state. As it is in our physical bodies that we sin, and as we are no longer being imputed sin, then we are no longer under any sentence of condemnation. We have gone from death to life. It is an eternal decree of God. Salvation is, by default, something that is eternal.
Glorious God, thank You for having saved us by Your grace in Christ. But more, thank You that this is an eternal decree. We have been brought into the New Covenant. Even if we fail You, You will never fail us. And You have proved this by giving us Your Spirit. Thank You for the sure hope of eternal salvation. Yes, thank You, O God. Amen.