A Life of Healing & Hope

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A pause from the story of Saul

Saul preached the gospel after he was radically transformed following his conversion to Christianity— from being a persecutor to preacher— from killing Christians to saving the lost!
The persecutor became the persecuted— while in Damascus, there was a conspiracy to kill him
So, Saul left for his home in Tarsus and later to Jerusalem to receive approval from Peter and John.

These two stories aren’t about either of them.

These is not a filler stories
these are significant events for Aeneas and Tabitha

These were stories of Jesus’ healing work after his resurrection

Lydda and Joppa were about one day’s travel from Jerusalem.
Suffering, Paralysis and Death are facts of life.

Aeneas was paralyzed.

And we assume to not be able to work.
We don’t know if he believed in God before this.
Symbolic of the persistent and literal frailty of humanity.

Tabitha was dead and was being mourned.

Tabitha was a seamstress. (Hellenistic Jew)
Name: A fallow gazelle in the high mountains, living by its own means among predators
Symbolic of the disciples being persecuted.
Made clothes for the poor and widowed.
The widows showed Peter the clothes she made for them.

There were disciples already present, but none had the gift of miracles.

Their world seemed to be upended and in torment, they needed miracle.

They asked Peter to come, one who was known to produce miracles.

It’s easy to despair when we experience the realities of pain, paralysis, and death.

The Truth is: There is no life without miracles & There is no hope without love.

Remember: the (holy, reverential) Fear of the Lord and Encouragement of the Holy Spirit was key to growth in the early church.

What does fear have to do with healing and hope?

The disciples loved these two people very much.

Someone attended to Aeneas’ physical needs and sought out Peter.
The poor widows loved their friend and sister so much they longed to her with them again.
The intercession of the caring and widows was not by means of words only but of acts of mercy and gifts for the poor.

The widow’s memory of Tabitha was “a monument greater than any physical memorial” (Chrysostom)

Her love was a monument in the hearts of the people she cared for.

Suffering, Paralysis, and death may be unavoidable realities in this life...

But, Peace, healing, and Life is found in Jesus Christ.

This is the true prosperity in the kingdom of God.

Peter comes with Expectation

Peter said to Aeneas, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up.”
Peter kneeled, prayed, and said to “Tabitha, get up.”
He fully expected both Aeneas and Tabitha to be able to do as they were told.

He was reverent of the power of God to both heal and raise them to life.

Jesus is the one who alone who has the power and authority to forgive and heal.

This is evidence of the love and power of God.

Jesus does not just heal the able-bodied or available,

He heals because he loves, and he heals when he is asked to heal.

Jesus was still at work, after His ascension, enabling His Apostles to manifest his divine power.

Just as Jesus, during His earthly life performed miracles which astounded witnesses
Jesus commissioned an assortment of ordinary people in typical, small Judean villages.

Acts is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things by the grace of God.

Peter even felt like an ordinary person

When Jesus asked to wash his feet or to feed his sheep.
Peter was able to help people in crisis and see many people come to God.
Peter never once took credit for healing people, he gave the glory to God.
Peter stayed among these ordinary people and was soon able to call them brothers and sisters.

He was moved by God to do extraordinary things, bringing healing and hope.

You may feel like an ordinary person

Like Aeneas, you may struggle with some physical (or emotional or mental) challenge.
Or, like Dorcas, you have been working away for years, and only a few people know or care.

Let me encourage you to continue to be faithful. Your moment for glory will come, perhaps in this life.

It’s better to store up glory given by God, than try to horde it away somewhere on earth.
You may never end up on the front page

But, if you continue giving your best, you will have the satisfaction of serving God and helping people, and you will have the hope of receiving a reward that will never fade.

God is always drawing us to a place of peace, healing, and hope.

Like Peter, we must pay close attention to everyone we meet; God will bless them through us.

We don’t have to be someone great for God to help us, remain faithful, and your glory will come. Hopefully, in this life but definitely in the next.

This is A Life of Peace, Healing and Hope in Jesus Christ.

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