Summary: Dr. Havner say it I believe the ministers have a twofold are dual ministry. He said, “The business of a preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Acts 9: 32 -- 42. 01/07/04
Vance Havner was a wonderful preacher of the gospel. He is known for a lot of one-liners that draw attention all the time. Oftentimes there were humor in them but a message in each one. One time he was reading where Jesus came apart from the disciples and crowd to pray. He said ministers must come apart once and a while, if they don’t they will come apart.
Dr. Havner say it I believe the ministers have a twofold are dual ministry. He said, “The business of a preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Peter’s ministry also illustrated this twofold ministry of the preacher. In some of our studies we have seen Peter afflict the comfortable in their sins. He dealt forcefully with sin in his sermons, as he would speak to the Sanhedrin and in dealing with the church. In this chapter we see Peter comfort the afflicted. We actually see two cases of comforting ministry. They are the restoring of Aeneas health and rising of Dorcas from the dead.
Let’s notice first of all THE RESTORING OF AENEAS. Look at verse 32 and verse 33.
Aeneas had a very serious physical problem. He had been bedridden for eight years. He was sick of the palsy. We have learned before that sick with the palsy meant that he was paralyzed. So, he was unable to move around. Today we have modern devices that aid a person who is paralyzed. But in those days he would have to take his bed. But there is one in his midst who can help this man. Have you noticed just how much like Jesus that Peter is?
When meeting up with Aeneas and seeing his condition, Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh the whole. Peter left no doubt that it is Jesus Christ that is doing the healing. Just as Jesus was the answer to Aeneas problem, so he is the answer to man’s sin problem. But when Jesus is left out, the paralyzed man stays paralyzed and sinners will never be saved from their sins.
Now the proof of his healing was real plain. He at one time and for longtime eight years in his bed, but now is walking around. I believe this is true in salvation. When a person is saved it will be plain in his walk. There will be a difference in his talk. If we don’t see these changes, then the man becomes a suspect.
The best thing about Aeneas healing was not the fact that he was no longer paralyzed as wonderful as that was, the best thing about the healing was that it resulted in many folk coming to the Lord.
We not only see the restoration of Aeneas but also THE RAISING OF DORCAS. While Peter was down in Lydda, a Christian woman by the name of Dorcas passed away in the nearby town of Joppa. They heard that Peter was nearby and sent two men to go get him without delay. Peter went and as a result, Dorcas would be raised from the dead.
When Peter got there, they carried him to the chamber where the body was lying. One widow after another would show Peter the garments that Dorcas had made for them while she was alive. With her own money she would buy the material and sew coats for the widows. She was using her talents and skills to help others.
There is an interesting statement I had never paid attention to before. The Scripture records that Peter turning to the body after he prayed.
Matthew Henry whose spiritual eye seems to observe things in the Scriptures that most of us to do not see said, “Peter turning to the body after he prayed because he prayed facing away from the body.” He turned from it because the sight of it could discourage his faith.” Whether that is the case, it does teach us something. We should pray not focusing only on our difficulties. You remember it was Peter who walked on the water until he focused on the storm.
I remember hearing a black preacher use this text one time before. He would read in between the lines a little but it was good. Peter turning to the body said, Tabitha, arise. The black preacher said Tabitha went to school the next day. Some ask Tabitha, where were you yesterday? She said I was dead. Well what happened? God made me alive again.
This we do know from verse 42, Dorcas dying and then being raised from the dead resulted in many being saved. Her suffering was a furtherance of the gospel. That puts an encouraging perspective on our trials.