Acts 9:32-43: Jesus at work!
“32 As Peter travelled 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 paralysed 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 ill 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 round 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 towards 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.”NIV
This short section, presenting two glimpses into the ministry of Peter at the time, shows that the ministry of Jesus was continuing. They have the feel, the atmosphere, of stories from the gospels; there are gospel echoes. Peter was the human instrument, but Jesus was continuing both to do and to teach (see Acts 1:1). The ‘acts of the apostles’ has been called the ‘acts of the Holy Spirit’. However, it has been suggested that a fuller, if more wordy, title could be, ‘the continuing words and works of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
David Pawson said that at the ascension Jesus just ‘switched bodies’. In the gospels we see Him moving towards Jerusalem in a physical body; in the ‘Acts’ we see Him gradually moving out from Jerusalem in a spiritual body, the church. But it is ‘’this same Jesus’’; He is alive and active and doing ‘’greater works’’ than ever He could in His human body – ‘’greater’’ in quantity. When Jesus is obviously present in His church, people get amazed and God gets the glory. How we need this spiritual reality.
‘’Everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him walking around and woke up to the fact that God was alive and active among them.’’ The Message.