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Acts 9:32-43



As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up …


In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room …


Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. (verses 32-34, 36-37, 40-41)

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Peter is walking in the footsteps of Jesus. He’s doing his work. At the beginning of this book of history, Luke, the writer, has implied he is recording for us the things that Jesus continued to do and teach. Here, in these stories, we see a prime example.


When Peter met this paralyzed man, Aeneas, lying on his mat, bells must have gone off. Where had he seen this before? Why was it so familiar? Oh yes, of course! He’d experienced something just like this alongside Jesus – on at least two occasions. Peter would have been in that house with Jesus when a paralytic was lowered on his mat from the ceiling, touching down right in front of the Master. Jesus forgave the man’s sins and then said to him, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home” (Luke 5:24). The man did, praising God. Later, at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, Jesus encountered a man (again, lying on a mat) who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Jesus commanded his healing, saying: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). The man did.


Of course Peter himself, alongside John, had stepped into this same ministry shortly after the Day of Pentecost as they encountered a crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the Temple. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6), he said. The man did, adding jumps and praises into the mix.


So again, now, Peter steps into Jesus’ shoes. Looking Aeneas in the eyes, he says, “Jesus Christ heals you – get up and take care of your mat” (verse 34). Aeneas did exactly that. The ministry of Jesus was continuing.


And it didn’t stop there. Further down the road, in Joppa, Peter encountered a grieving community, mourning the death of a compassionate woman named Tabitha who had provided practical care by sewing clothing for needy widows. As their crying sobs rang out, I wonder if Peter remembered that scene of wailing grief when Jesus came into Jairus’ home to heal his now deceased daughter. Sending everyone from the room, Jesus spoke to the girl in Aramaic, saying, “Talitha koum” (Mark 5:41), which means, “Little girl – get up.” I wonder if Peter, down on his knees beside Tabitha’s bed, having sent everyone from the room, spoke in Aramaic as he turned to her and said, “Get up.” If so, the words from his mouth would have been, “Tabitha koum.”


What joy for Peter to step into the very ministry of Jesus. To know his heart. To speak his words. To see Aeneas healed. To see Tabitha raised.


Oh, for opportunities this day to further Jesus’ ministry, too.

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O, Lord Jesus, in big ways or small, whether with obvious miracle or more subtle working, I want to be part of your continuing ministry, speaking your words, doing your work. I make myself available. Give me eyes to see, heart to respond, and faith to act. To your glory. Amen.

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Watch: Make yourself available to Jesus this day. Watch for opportunities. Pray for people you encounter. Step into action as the Lord calls.

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