Acts 9:32-43 verse 34 – “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. Verse 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.
A friend of mine came to faith on his own by reading the scriptures. He spent an entire summer doing agricultural work and being isolated from the mainstream of life. All the time he read the scriptures. He told me in confidence that his first visit to a church was very disappointing because it was nothing like the book of Acts.
Today’s story in Scripture provides a glimpse into the Spirit of God’s work through the apostle Peter. The book of Acts tells of big moments in the development of the church and it also highlights how individuals’ lives are changed by the ministry of Jesus’ disciples.
Aeneas was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years, he hears Peter say, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up…” His life was changed, and many people in the local area turned to Jesus.
Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, became sick and died, and many people mourned. When Peter arrived, many widows showed him the clothing Dorcas had made for them. Peter prayed to the Lord, and God brought her back to life again. Mourning turned into dancing, and more people came to believe in Jesus as Lord.
Are these merely good stories of a distant time in the life of the church, or are they something more? We can come alongside people who are hurting and point them to the healing and hope that come through Jesus. Today people are healed from cancer, addicts discover who Jesus is and their world and the world of their families are completely changed. God is still at work in this world. The news media may not pay attention, but we know that the church of Jesus is still called to touch the lives of others—one life at a time.
Loving Heavenly Father, open our eyes to the lives of others so we may weep with those who weep and also wipe away tears as we witness to your love, hope, and healing. Give us faith to believe in your amazing power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.