Summary: Things were different in the days of Peter. When Peter was around, everybody got healed.
So far we have seen Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He was blinded for 3 days. God sent Ananias to heal Saul of his blindness. Saul was baptized, and was nourished with food and drink because he hadn’t eaten or drank anything during those three days. Saul immediately began preaching in Damascus until his life was threatened. His disciples helped him escape by lowering him down the outside of the city wall. Saul went to Jerusalem. He met up with Peter and James and continues preaching until another attempt was planned for his assassination. He leaves Jerusalem and goes to Tarsus, his hometown and begins his ministry of preaching to the Gentiles. Because of all this, READ v. 31.
And then we come to our next passage. READ vv. 32-43
Actual sentences found in patients’ hospital charts:
1. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
2. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
3. (after knee surgery) On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.
4. She is numb from her toes down.
5. Patient suffers from occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
6. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
7. The patient refused autopsy.
These funny mistakes just go to show that Doctors and Nurses are human too. They make mistakes on hospital charts and they make mistakes (occasionally) with things that are more serious. Everything from ordering the wrong prescriptions or dispensing the wrong medications to making the wrong diagnosis and operating on the wrong leg in surgery. It doesn’t happen often… but it does happen. And it only proves that Doctors and Nurses aren’t gods. They’re NOT infallible. And as much as they want to heal everyone that comes in their doors, it isn’t always going to happen!!!
Things were different in the days of Peter. When Peter was around, everybody got healed. There were no mistakes… there was no human error. Whenever Peter came to town there was always a healing.
In Acts 4, you might remember Peter and John healing the crippled man at the Gate called Beautiful. Later in Acts 5, we’re told that “… people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.” AND NOW, here in Acts 9, Peter heals one person and raises another from the dead… not a bad day’s work. In fact - as a result of this display of God’s power, we find that: “All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw (the healed paralytic) and turned to the Lord.” Acts 9:35
AND “…all over Joppa… many people believed in the Lord.” Acts 9:42
Wouldn’t it be great if there were men like Peter around today—men who could just pass by – and their shadow would bring you healing—men who speak a word and you could be cured of any disease in your body—men who could visit a funeral home and raise the dead from the casket.
Now, there are men (in our society) who claim to have abilities like that. They’re called “faith healers” AND they have huge followings. They’ll have enormous revival meetings and there will be a whole line of sick people up on stage. The Revivalist will give a mighty shout. He’ll thump on their head and they’ll fall down. It’s called being “slain in the spirit”
NOW… I don’t get really excited about “faith healers.” I’ve seen how they conduct their meetings… and I’m suspicious about their claims. I’ve noticed their approach is dramatically different than Peter’s was. Think about it. Peter didn’t wait for the sick to seek him out – he went to them. READ Acts 9: 32-33. Peter WENT to the local church, and finding there a man who was a paralytic, Peter healed him. And there was no need for an audience to observe his methods. When Peter raised Tabitha from the dead (v.40) he sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed.
It is noted, of the 37 accounts of healing in the Gospels and in the book of Acts, only 10 occurred with a crowd present, 12 occurred in small groups and 15 were in private settings like the one at Tabitha’s home. In NEITHER of these cases (found in Acts 9) are we told that those who were healed sought the healing. Tabitha was dead. Peter simply saw a need and he met it. He didn’t go thru some dramatic shouting and slapping of the head. There was no example of people being slain in the Spirit.
Now, I realize that the behavior of modern day "faith healers" makes for good theatre - but when I see such men and women go thru their rituals, it shows me that the audience is being manipulated. And I hate it when someone tries to manipulate me (or anyone else). Do people get healed at these revivals? Maybe they do… Maybe they don’t. But that in itself wouldn’t prove these men are from God.