Intro: In our passage today, Peter leaves Jerusalem and travels to Lydda—about 28 miles from Jerusalem. We know it is God’s plan for evangelism, because the inspiration and power of the Spirit rests on Peter. He goes around and visits with groups of believers near the Mediterranean coast. While Peter is in Lydda, God gives him the ability to perform a miracle with the spoken word of faith, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” Some translation read, “Jesus Christ makes you whole! Arise and make your bed!” As this paralyzed man, Aeneas, responds to this miraculous gift of healing, the people witnessing the miracle begin to desire Jesus, as well. The news and impact of this healing for salvation travels fast.
After the miracle with the paralytic, the Spirit leads Peter to Joppa (about 10 miles away) to perform yet another miracle. Tabitha, (aka Dorcas), a woman who has ministered greatly to the poor through her many acts of kindness, has died. Peter is asked to come to her bedside. This time, Peter kneels, prays, and speaks a word of faith, “Get up, Tabitha!” As she responds to Peter’s words, not only do those witnessing the miracle get a new revelation of faith, but this changes everything for Tabitha. Think about it; one moment she is enjoying the supernatural presence of the Lord and all of a sudden she is translated back into the natural realm, opens her eyes, and sees Peter. What an amazing account of happenings she must have been able to share.
These lessons for the work of faith are amazing and should lead us into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Peter spoke a word of faith and miracles happened. You and I can speak a word of faith and watch the power of God bring salvation and wholeness to others, as well. However, we must remember the Lord may choose to do his work differently in every one of his children. Salvation will always turn someone’s life around; from bondage to sin and death into life eternal. I may never speak to raise someone from physical death, but I pray my very life example lifts people out of spiritual death into life with God. That’s salvation! That’s a miracle! Never forget, if God sends us to do something he will empower us, as well. Grace provides all we need. The Spirit leads the way. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Eph 3:20).
Acts 9:32-42 Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas
32 Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.
36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37 About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38 But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!”
39 So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40 But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive.
42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the inspiration of the Spirit who will help me not only know what to say and do, but will bring the power to impact the lives of those around me for the work of salvation. Thank you that every one of your followers is given the same promise in Jesus’ name. Amen.