CONTINUING CHRIST’S WORK
I want to honor You, Jesus. Open my heart to Your Word today.
Read Acts 9:32–43
Aeneas and Dorcas
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 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!”
39 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.
40 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. 41 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. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the purpose of the Church? In what ways have you been helped by other Christians in the past?
The miracles Peter performs in today’s reading remind us of some of the healings Jesus carried out. The raising of Tabitha has several similarities to Jesus’ healing of Jairus’ daughter. For instance, Peter told people to leave the room before he raised Tabitha, just as Jesus did before He raised Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:40). Similarly, Peter’s healing of Aeneas has parallels with Jesus’ healing of the paralyzed man who was lowered through a roof to Christ (Luke 5:24). Peter makes sure, too, that Aeneas understood that his healing occurred not because of the apostle’s power but Christ’s (34). Acts, then, shows us Peter continuing Jesus’ work.
But were only the apostles expected to carry on Christ’s mission? Paul described the Church as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12–31). It is how Jesus reaches out to the world now He is no longer physically with us. As Christians we all have a role to play in that body. We are not meant to serve Christ all by ourselves, but in partnership with others, using the gifts God has given us. Have you discovered what your role is in Christ’s body yet?
If you are not part of a church, reflect on the reasons for this and how God may be directing you to join Christ’s body locally.
God, how do You want me to serve You? What are my gifts? Show me how to honor You in Your body, the church.
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