Aeneas and Dorcas (Acts 9:32-43)

Welcome to Tuesday!  Today we are reunited with our good friend Peter. We last saw Peter in Samaria a few days ago. Now we’re going to hear a bit more about what he’s been up to, and I should warn you, it’s pretty epic.

Acts 9:32-35 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Straight away we find Peter performing miracles in the name of Jesus. Aeneas was paralysed and hadn’t been able to move from his bed in eight years, and now he has been healed. This is such an amazing miracle, but like all miracles that are performed in Jesus name, the purpose is to point people to Jesus. Here we find the witnesses to this miracle in Lydda and Sharon turning to Jesus. It’s absolutely incredible that Aeneas body was fully restored, but the part about this story I find the best is that entire towns came to know Jesus as a result of this miracle.

9:36-39 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

In the age of digital media things go viral all the time, I’m certain most of us know of a minor celebrity who has done something incredible and become a YoutTube sensation. Much like the way news spreads in the age of the Internet, news of Peter’s presence and the miracles he had performed had quickly spread through the provinces where he was travelling.

Peter is sent for by the disciples in Joppa, and he is brought back to this place where widows are grieving the loss of their friend, who was also a disciple of Jesus, a lady named Tabitha.

9:40-43 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

A resurrection just happened! That’s right, Tabitha who had passed away is alive again, because of the power of Christ. Peter has been able to speak words of life back into this woman, a situation that seemed hopeless by every human measure has now been made possible.

Both the miracles Peter performed in today’s passage are similar to miracles that Jesus performed while Peter was his disciple. The healing of Aeneas was similar to Jesus’ healing of the paralytic (Mark 2:11), and the raising of Tabitha to life was similar to Jesus’ raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41). The apostle Peter has been able to perform miracles as Christ had, using the power of his name. These miracles are amazing, and would not have been possible without Jesus, and both serve as a reminder to the power of Christ, the restoration and the healing. These miracles pointed all those who heard about them (including us who read these today) to Jesus.

To think about

Have you ever witnessed a miracle? Did it help turn your eyes towards Jesus?

To witness a miracle like the healing of Aeneas or the raising to life of Tabitha would surely remove any doubt that someone may have that Jesus Christ is Lord. But Christ works miracles today, how have you seen Christ at work in your life or those around you?

Today, pray about the things that Christ may be wanting to use you to do to point people to Jesus.


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