BUSINESS AS USUAL
Lord, thank You for miracles.
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.
‘Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God’ (William Carey, 1761–1834).
Exit Saul. Enter Peter. Luke switches from one character to another as he details the dynamic progress of the gospel, but he also emphasizes the continuity. Peter is acting in a roving apostolic role as he follows up the converts from Philip’s ministry detailed in Acts 8. The Lord’s people, the new disciples, are visited by one of the leaders from the Jerusalem church, presumably for instruction, encouragement, and advice. Today the ministry of the evangelist is supported by the ministry of the pastor and teacher.
What follows is an almost mundane account of extraordinary events: a paralyzed man is healed and a dead woman is brought back to life: because this is what the gospel is all about; this is what Peter does. He encounters a man with a problem, so he addresses it. He receives a request from a group of grieving believers, so he responds to their grief in a remarkable way. He demonstrates the power and authority of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and many believe. No words are needed because the actions speak. This is the business of Jesus Christ’s church.
What is the business of your church? Do you come across people with problems? Do you receive requests from those who grieve, who have lost hope, who stand at a crossroads? Today’s passage reminds us of why we have been placed in such situations. Jesus is the one who acts, but He chooses to use us as His mouthpiece. Peter’s simple words ‘Get up and roll up your mat’ (34) and ‘Tabitha, get up’ (40) are the channel through which Jesus acts. The ensuing results are miraculous and many come to believe in Jesus as a result. This is the business of every part of His church.
Pray for someone who has presented their problems to you, not with doubt or uncertainty but with quiet assurance that this is your daily business on behalf of Jesus.
Lord, use us the way You used the early church. Teach us to operate in the supernatural as we operate in our daily lives.
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