Depending on Christ's Strength (Acts 9:32–43)

Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.” (Acts 9:32–43, ESV) Acts Blog Image

First, we see an encounter between Peter and the man named Aeneas in Lydda. He had been bedridden for 8 years, which pointed to the severity of his paralysis in his legs. He was lame and unable to walk. Peter told Aeneas, “Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed!” How beautiful and humbling that the authority in which Peter performed this miracle was not of his own powers (which he had none) but of the power of Jesus Christ. Peter knew, that Jesus was working in miracles and encounters such as this to build his church. Although, Jesus could not be physically seen, he was working and his church was growing.

Second, we read that a disciple name Dorcas became ill and passed away. She was a vital member of her community full of good works and charity. Her people adored her. They washed and prepared her lifeless body and laid her in an upper room. Lydia, the town in which Peter was visiting was located close to Joppa where the precious body of Tabitha (Dorcas) laid limp and lifeless. The disciples called for Peter and sent two men urging him to come quickly. Peter followed. When he arrived, they took him to the upper room where Tabitha’s lifeless body laid. The widows and those gathered in that room were filled with grief. Their mourning was heard through their weeping. They embraced articles of clothing that were handcrafted by their beloved friend as if to catch a breath of her scent. Peter asked all those who gathered in the upper room to step outside. When the room cleared, Peter knelt down and prayed, then turning the body, he spoke, “Tabitha, arise!” Breath began to fill her lungs once again, her eyes opened and she sat up when she saw Peter. Her once lifeless body was now alive. He gently offered his hand and helped her up. Peter called for those he asked to leave the room and presented her, alive. Word traveled all throughout Joppa and many believed the Lord.

We must never forget that we are disciples in name of Jesus Christ. We must deflate our pride as we exalt the precious and mighty name of Jesus Christ. When we use our gifting’s for God's glory, we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. From this passage we see that Peter acknowledged Jesus Christ as the ultimate source in which he was able to heal Aeneas and raise Tabitha to life. It was not of his own might but by the power of God. He surrendered his pride and allowed the spirit to work through him to further the Gospel and the name of Jesus.

In what areas of your life do you need to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your ultimate strength? How do you need to use the gifting’s he has given you?