20 May. Acts 9:32-43

20 May. Peter heals a paralysed man and raises a woman from the dead

"As Peter was travelling through all the area, he visited God's people who lived in Lydda [modern-day Lod]. There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralysed and had not been able to leave his bed for the past eight years."

"Peter said to him, 'Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Stand up and make your bed.' Aeneas stood up immediately. All the people living in Lydda and on the Plain of Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord."

"In the city of Joppa [modern-day Jaffa] there was a follower named Tabitha (whose Greek name was Dorcas). She was always doing good deeds and kind acts. While Peter was in Lydda, Tabitha became sick and died. Her body was washed and put in a room upstairs [the guest room]."

"Since Lydda is near Joppa, and the followers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two messengers to Peter. They begged him, 'Hurry, please come to us!' So Peter got ready and went with them."

"When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room where all the widows stood around Peter, crying. They showed him the shirts and coats that Tabitha had made when she was still alive."

"Peter sent everyone out of the room and kneeled and prayed. Then he turned to the body and said, 'Tabitha, stand up.' She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called the saints and the widows into the room and showed them that Tabitha was alive."

"People everywhere in Joppa learned about this, and many believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for many days with a man named Simon who was a leatherworker."

          (Acts 9:32-43)

 

 

Later in 35AD, Peter visited the believers in Lydda (called Lod in the Old Testament, and now the site of Tel Aviv’s international airport). In Jesus's name (by Jesus's power) he healed Aeneas who had been bedridden for eight years.

Peter was then called to the port of Joppa where Tabitha (‘Dorcas’ in Greek, meaning a ‘gazelle’), one of the believers, had died.

Once again, Peter prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the dead woman came back to life. Lots of people in the area around Tel Aviv-Joppa heard of these miracles and wonders, and came to know Jesus as their personal Saviour. No wonder the early church grew so quickly!

Did you know that the early followers of Jesus were called 'saints'? That's the word used in the Greek when Luke describes the believers in Lydda. Like Tabitha, they were always doing good deeds and kind acts. Tabitha was a keen needlewoman, and loved making clothes which she gave to her poorer neighbours. She was a true 'saint'.

It's good to hear the stories of the famous saints - St Francis, St Christopher, St Catharine of Alexandria to name a few. But it's also good to remember that Jesus expects ALL his followers to be 'saints' - to live a life where people remember us because we were 'always doing good deeds and kind acts' for others.

Peter stayed in Joppa at the home of Simon the Tanner – the reputed site of which can still be visited today. St Peter’s Church commemorates Peter’s visit, while modern visitors to the tastefully restored narrow alleyways of the medieval quarter can get a taste of what Joppa felt like when it was a bustling commercial port in Peter’s day.

The photo shows a street in the medieval part of Joppa.

You can read more about Joppa (modern-day Jaffa) @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/7-journe…/peters-journeys/


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