Summary: The story of Acts is like an old westerns whrer several stories are happening at the same time. Peter, is suddenly back in the story.
So in today’s reading we are suddenly back at what is going on with Peter. It is like one of the old westerns…Meanwhile back at the ranch…
In chapter 8 we have all the things that were happening with Philip. We have the trip to Samaria with the sorcerer Peter and John pop in for a quick look and some preaching, then the Ethiopian then the last we hear of him he is traveling from Ashdod North along the coast. Then we jump over to Paul’s meeting of Jesus and his response, now we are back with Peter. It can be a little hard to keep up with the characters and story line.
At some point in Peter is traveling around Israel when the story picks up. Perhaps he is on an evangelism tour spreading the good news from place to place. We join him a Lydda. Where he is visiting the saints in the city. In the name of Jesus Christ he heals a man bed ridden for 8 years. Get up and get your matt.
Acts is full of miraculous healings. It leaves me wondering why it seems like God does not do them today. I know we all have heard abut people like Bennie Han or Earnest Angsley. People go to them to receive a blessing, they want healing, holiness and I hope that some are really touched by God through people like these….But if they are fakes…If they are in it for the money then I can assure they have received their reward and I wonder what ease they may face at the day of judgment…if they are misrepresenting God…if they are false teachers….then God is going to deal with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that God can and does heal people. I further believe that he can and will use anyone to move and encourage. But it is always God that does the healing. The healers we now about today, pretty much let people come to them. They set up shop in a church or an auditorium and advertise that they are in town….
Peter is visiting groups of new believers and he picks am man that we can guess was a beggar laying by the street and heals him. Peter goes to him, peter goes to his need.
People see the change in Aeneas perhaps it was a busy moment of the day when lots of people were passing. I would wonder if this man reacts like a person on a game show like “The price is Right.” Jumping and shouting because they have wone the big prize.
The response of the people of Lydda and the surrounding communities is to “come to the Lord.” We are talking about Jews in this story. There is not direct outreach to the Gentiles at this point.
So, The people that respond know what they have seen and believe.
Pretty simple transaction. Heal a known cripple and people joint the church.
That is such a good idea. People can see the power of God. They come with their problems and Sha-Zam! They are healed and converted at the same moment. Groups that have that power are obviously blessed by God and the ones that can’t are false teachers.
Wouldn’t that fill up churches! Wouldn’t it make the whole faith thing so much easier.
Why is it that God does not work that way? If he did pretty much everyone would believe right?
If God worked like that what would be missing?
Would there be any need for faith? If the church grew because of miraculous healings all the time would there be any mystery? If healing came when you went to the church the it is would be like going to the bank for money. You expect them t be there to give you your money and if you don’t have money of your own you might qualify for a loan.
If God worked that way there would be no miracles it would simply be if God likes us or not. We either are getting what is ours or we are taking out a loan from God.
Would there be any need for faith?
The story continues with Tabitha or if you prefer Dorcas. Tabitha is Hebrew and Dorcas is Greek and it translates to us as “gazelle.” This is not said to be a nick name which means that her parents gave her a name that was full of promise and description. Maybe something to live up too.
She is a believer that has heard the good news from someone. Perhaps when Philip came through town or when someone moved in after running from Jerusalem when the persecution started.
She lives in Japps about 9 miles to the west of where Peter is visiting. We don’t know her age but she seems to have a lot of time on her hands and she has made a lot of things for the people around her community. She always was doing good and helping the poor. She seems to have been very active in helping widows.