Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralysed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Miracles and Evangelism
Peter heals Aeneas and people find God. The announcement of the gospel was accompanied by great power. Peter went to Joppa and saw the need of an individual and took care of them. Of course, paralysis is nothing to be sneezed at. Was it a psychological ailment that held the body in check? Was it purely physical? The text does not tell us, but God heals both kinds. Why don’t we see it so much today?
One answer is that we presume upon God and want to dictate to him how his story will be written. We often want miracles to satisfy our own curiosity, needs, or fears. Illness is the natural consequence of our rebellion against God. Left to run their course, sin has a terrible affect. Sin can cause emotional, psychological and physical pain. God will deal with sin through judgment and grace. those who receive judgment live with the due punishment of sin in their bodies. Those who receive grace are saved from consequences that they deserve.
Christians are called to be agents of grace. We turn the world back to the way it was designed to be. We can ask for miracles, but a lot of healing occurs in the way we treat each other. What needs are there in your community? How does your community flourish because you live there?
Father, you have let your world decline into sin and its effects ravage our bodies and minds. Show us the ways that you want us to speak and to heal. Let us ultimately show people the way back to you through our actions.
- What was the problem Peter encountered in Joppa?
- How did Peter respond?
- How do miracles pave the way for the gospel message in Acts?
- What are the needs in your community?
- How do you respond?