Sunday, September 30, 2007

Acts 9:32-43

I remember hearing Neil Cole say that after Stephen's murder, everyone left except the ones whose job description was leaving - the Apostles, or "Sent ones." God used persecution to get them all out of Jerusalem. It worked on everyone but the leaders. It seems that they hunkered down when persecution came. However, now we see Peter leaving Jerusalem and traveling twenty miles to Lydda. While there he healed a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been confined to a bed for the last eight years. Luke says that everyone who lived there "turned to the Lord" when they saw this.

From there he traveled another twenty miles to the coast city of Joppa. He traveled there because some of the followers of the Way from that city heard that he was in Lydda and came for him. A lady named Tabitha (Dorcas), who, Luke explains, was "full of good works and charity", had become ill and had just died. They thought that perhaps Peter might be able to do something. Peter came to Joppa, went upstairs to where Tabitha was, and commanded her lifeless body to arise. Immediately she was filled with life, and he presented her to the community. Once again Luke describes how this affected the city: "And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord" (9:42).

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