The people God calls are usually already busy in His service, and this is how we find the apostle Peter who “passed throughout all quarters.”
As an apostle he would have taken on a whole variety of duties from witnessing to individuals to the business of seeing that the gospel of Christ was truly taught and preached.
It was on such a journey that Peter visited believers who lived at Lydda. While in Lydda, Peter “found a certain men named Aeneas.” The only certainty we have about how Peter found this man is that the Lord placed him in the apostle’s life. Aeneas could have been a believer, or related to one of the believers, we just do not know.
At any rate, Aeneas was sick and had been confined to his bed for eight years. When Peter saw him, he said: “Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise and make thy bed.”
There is no doubt Aeneas suffered from a terrible condition, so when Luke tells us the man “arose immediately,” we can be certain Peter spoke in the authority of Christ Jesus and a miracle was performed.
Not only was Aeneas cured, he was immediately ready to live an ordinary life, doing such ordinary things as making up his own sick bed.
The miracle had an effect on the people in and around Lydda. The power of Christ healed Aeneas, and the Lord’s power and grace was experienced by many whose faith was strengthened and others whose souls were saved. They saw Aeneas, knew that a miracle had occurred and “turned to the Lord.”
Next, Luke takes us to Joppa where we find Tabitha, a disciple widely known for her good works. This charitable woman made clothes for the poor widows.
Tabitha fell ill and died. Her body was washed, Luke said, and “they laid her in an upper chamber.” This was more than just preparing for Tabitha’s burial, though. The believers in Joppa had heard what the Lord had done through the apostle for Aeneas in nearby Lydda, and they sent for Peter, asking that he come quickly.
In response to their plea, Peter came to Joppa and to the upper chamber. The widows to whom Tabitha had been so charitable were there and they showed Peter the clothes she made for them.
Peter asked them to leave the room, and he kneeled to pray. He then turned toward the body and said, “Tabitha, arise.”
Suddenly, Tabitha opened her eyes, and seeing the apostle, she sat up. He offered her his hand and helped her stand up. Peter called the disciples and widows into the room and presented Tabitha to them.
Because of this miracle, “many believed in the Lord,” and Peter stayed there “many days.”
As a result of two miracles, souls were saved and the gospel of Jesus advanced throughout the region. What happens to believers is nothing short of miraculous because Scripture tells us that God loved us when we were dead in our sins and trespasses.
He gave us life in Christ and that change ought to so dramatic and obvious that people take notice of Christians that people take notice just like the people in Lydda and Joppa were affected by Aeneas and Tabitha.
— The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C. firstname.lastname@example.org.