Opening Prayer

As I come to your Word today, Father, increase my understanding of your will for my life in Christ. Teach me more of how I should walk in his ways.

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.

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Hear these stories as good news for our broken world.

Think Further

The story returns to the role of Peter and the next three chapters will describe the momentous changes that take place in his ministry as the consequence of his discovery of the universal implications of the resurrection of Jesus. We begin with an itinerary which takes him beyond Jerusalem, to Lydda, Joppa, and, eventually, Caesarea. The first of these towns is today the location of modern Israel’s main international airport, which leads us to wonder how this text might relate to our highly scientific and technologically sophisticated world.

The stories of the healing of the paralytic Aeneas and the raising of the beloved Dorcas both demonstrate how the power of the name of Jesus Christ breaks into a world in which history seemed to be closed, and suffering and death were realities which had to be accepted and endured. It is possible to translate the description of Aeneas’ condition as meaning that he had been bedridden since he was eight years old, so that we have two examples of extreme human tragedy, affecting (as Luke so often likes to point out) both men and women!

The healing miracles of Peter challenged the order of the fallen world in which paralytics and poor widows were left without hope; suffering and early death were simply realities to be endured. The name of Jesus released the power of the resurrection into that closed world, opening it up for the blessings of that time and bringing healing and hope to the broken-hearted. Passengers waiting today to board flights from Israel which cross continents in hours will probably be ignorant of the miracles that took place close to where they sit, but in a modern world skeptical about transcendence, the transforming power of the risen Christ is needed more than ever before.


Next time you sit in an airport lounge, remember this text and pray for fellow passengers.

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to have an active part in what you are doing in the lives of people today. Help me to be more sensitive to those around me and to be willing to act in ways that bring you glory.

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by kingstar

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