Summary: I want to start today by reading the eighth verse of Acts chapter 1. The disciples were listening to Jesus just before he was about to ascend into heaven. No doubt eager Peter was up at the front when Jesus gives his great commission.
There was a man in Boissevain who was paralyzed in a farm accident and was bedridden for the last 8 years. This guy just came to town late last week out of nowhere and healed him. The formerly paralyzed man obviously started walking around town and being a small town just about everyone saw him because he was going everywhere he could now that he could walk again. Apparently every person in Boissevain has turned to the Lord and the churches are scrambling to find spaces to hold their church services this weekend. They have rented warehouses, the arena, everything.
Their have been a lot of funerals in the area lately and the word is that this man is going to come to Killarney this week and one of the residents here has asked if he would come and raise his recently deceased relative from the dead. Would you go see this?
Alright, that didn’t really happen, but I bet it got your attention didn’t it?
There is a bible conference coming to Boissevain next weekend, but my guess is that there will probably not be a many signs and wonders, unfortunately. We can pray otherwise.
Anyway I want to start today by reading the eighth verse of Acts chapter 1. The disciples were listening to Jesus just before he was about to ascend into heaven. No doubt eager Peter was up at the front when Jesus gives his great commission.
Now we have about 4 different accounts of Jesus final words before he was taken up. They all say similar things, but each person who heard may have specifically emphasized what they heard form Jesus, and maybe this was done to give a more complete picture.
Matthew the Jewish tax collector focuses on making disciples, Luke both here and in his gospel focuses on being witnesses, of course he is the Gentile doctor, and Mark which is thought to be Peter’s account written by Mark, focuses on preaching and miraculous signs.
So back to Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now why I’m taking us back to these accounts of the great commission is because I want us to see how perfectly Peter is obeying. He was the one who explained what was going on when the power of the Holy Spirit did come upon them at Pentecost. He was performing many signs and wonders, especially through healing and casting out demons. Of course he started preaching or witnessing in Jerusalem and became the leader of the church there.
Now in Acts chapter 9 we see Peter taking this witnessing power through Judea to Samaria. And we know that when he was crucified in Rome like his Lord, he was working on going to the ends of the earth, which in that day probably referred to the known Roman Empire.
So he leaves Jerusalem and heads out along the coast through Lydda and Joppa which are both in Judea.
The first thing he does is heal the crippled man Aeneas. And listen what happened in verse 35 of chapter 9 – “Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw the man walking around, and they turned to the Lord”. The whole population!
Then up the road in Joppa there was a saint of a woman who was always doing good things for others, helping the poor, but this poor Tabitha or Dorcas got sick and died. That’s not fair. But the believers hear that Peter was nearby and knew he had been healing people so they call for him. But this would be a step up from just healing.
He comes into the room and like his resurrecting predecessors Elijah, Elisha and Jesus, he gets the people to leave the room, and imagine what must have been going through his mind. This woman was dead, she had already been prepared for burial. I can’t help but wonder if Peter really thought he could pull this off.
He had lots of experience with healing, but this one would really test whether or not Jesus really was with Him and working through him, if he could raise someone from the dead.
I would have sent the people away too, just in case I failed and then I could sneak out the back window.
He knelt and prayed. Yeah, I wouldn’t have tried this one without some pretty serious prayer either. And I’m sure the Spirit took him over, he looked at the body and simply said, “Get up Tabitha” and she did.
The word about this one spread and again many people put their trust in the Lord. Now the last sentence in chapter 9 may seem like just a little add on to finish the story, but there are a couple significant things in there. First of all it says Peter stayed a long time in Joppa.