Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed.” Immediately he got up. And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Acts 9:32-35
In yesterday’s readings I read of the great beginnings of Saul’s ministry after his conversion. But the story of Peter’s ministry was what really excited me the most. For me it tied in with the theme of revival that God has placed in my heart recently.
Peter is travelling throughout the regions spreading the Good News and comes to Lydda which is inland south east of Joppa (modern day Jaffa). The healing of Aeneas is almost matter of fact in manner, it is just a statement of a fact “Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed.” No one could accuse Peter of being flashy in this incident, he kept it simple. The response was instant, Aeneas did as Peter asked with no question or fuss. The effect of this miracle was witnessed by many in Lydda, the news of it spread throughout the region of Sharon (a fertile plain between Joppa and Caesarea). Many souls turned to the Lord as a result of this miracle.
In Joppa news of the miracle reached the friends of a prominent disciple called Tabitha (Dorcas), who had died. They sent for Peter immediately, they were expecting a miracle too! Peter goes to Joppa where he sends the mourners out of the house, so that he can pray over the dead woman. In contrast to the healing of Aeneas the raising of Tabitha requires prayer, it is a more serious matter indeed. After prayer Peter simply says “Tabitha rise” as he helps her rise from her deathbed. Many saw this miracle too and also believed in the Lord, as had been the case in Lydda. Peter stayed for some time in Joppa undoubtetly sharing Jesus and healing more sick people.
The whole region of Sharon was impacted by these miracles by the Holy Spirit through Peter, they were a powerful witness to Jesus as the Son of God. It was a localised revival! It is the same pattern used by the Holy Spirit in revivals throughout Christian history, that is God using individuals in a mighty way that can only be explained as miraculous. Dear reader I believe our Father God is still in the miracles business today, that He can bring revival to our towns. I pray for this every day, what about you?