George Methodist Church Soul stories
From baptism to revival Acts 9: 29 – 37
Sunday 4th November 2018 8am and 10am
Last week we spoke about Baptism and I trust it was helpful. We are shifting gear a bit today as we travelled from the north and the sea of Galilee having baptised the boys and Melissa and drove down through Nazareth where Jesus grew up and down the coastline to Tel Aviv. If you ever thought that Israel was this ancient country well then think again as the infrastructure and city skyscrapers attest to the progress of this nation although sadly there are still some major divisions between the Palestinians and the Jews which has caused much pain and challenges for this nation.
We arrived at a beautiful flat in the heart of tel Aviv close to the beach and spent most of the late afternoon and the evening in the warm Mediterranean Sea which is really nice. The beaches were full of young people and families.
The following day we went through to Jaffa/Joppa which is the old city of Tel Aviv. It is the same place that Jonah went to when he was swallowed by a large fish and spewed out and back onto the shore of Joppa when he disobeyed the Lord calling him to speak to the Ninevites.
The city is more like a village and very ornate and quaint in comparison to the city of Tel Aviv which is huge and full of skyscrapers.
And so we began to walk through these lovely narrow passageways and into small shops selling ornate jewellery and we came down some stairs and I found myself standing right in front of the door of Simon the Tanners house and I began to think about the time when he lived there and Tabitha had died and Peter came to visit.
And so here is the story read by … Acts 9:31 – 43
31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Aeneas and Dorcas
32As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda 33There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.34Aeneas, Peter said to him, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.Immediately Aeneas got up.
35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, Please come at once!
39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40Peter 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. 41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.43Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
- Lydda and Sharon and the miracle of the paralyzed men. Note that Peter says Jesus Christ heals you and not I heal you. There are lots of challenges in our world where people are claiming to be divine healers – Jesus is the healer and they are not.I do believe that the gift of healing can be given to different people and especially those in the medical profession. Some gifts come through hard work and academia.
- Lydda was near Joppa/Jaffa.
- Tabitha(Hebrew) Dorcas(Greek) – her name means Gazelle. She was a widow and fairly wealthy and she cared for the poor, did acts of charity and made clothing. Sounds like the WA.
- She was called a Mathitria – which is a female disciple.This is the only time in the new testament where this word is used. It does however show us clearly that there were definitely many woman disciples – Martha, Mary, Mary Timothy’s grandmother, 2 John 1 The elder, the lady chosen by God. And more.
- She lived in Joppa close to the house of Simon the Tanner – leather
- She had got sick and died and was placed in an upper
- The woman had been washed and made (baptised in a Mikveh)
- The woman were mourning her
- Peter is called by two men to come at once to help the woman.
- He came and got down on his knees and 11.He was bold and said Tabitha get up.
12.She saw Peter took her hand and helped her to her feet. 13.She was a testimony to her friends.
- Many people
- Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with the tanner named Simon.
- Some important observations – the woman as
- Peter outside his comfort zone being prepared for Cornelius the gentile evangelical outreach that started with the vision of eating unclean food in Acts
- His inner and outer journey are profound in that he is acting not on his religious theological upbringing but on the prompting of the Holy
- Miracles were happening then and they are happening We need to pray for more miracles and trust the Lord boldly like Peter that he will do it.
- James 5:14Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- Pray anoint call the elders. Your faith will make them well not their faith. Tabitha was dead. She did not have any faith to show but the faith of Peter healed
- Our faith and commitment to Christ can have a tangible effect on
- Lets pray and boldly ask God to move some of the mountains in our
- How do you see the transition in Peter’s life from denial to empowerment ?
- How do you understand the work of the Holy Spirit in performing miracles ?
- Have you ever experienced a miracle ?
- What are some of the ways in which service to others enable miracles ? The example of
Some Miracles in the Old Testament. Exodus 12 – 14 The parting of the Red Sea.
1 Kings 17 Jug of flour and jug of oil and Elijah 2 Kings 5 The leper healed.
Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Some Miracles in the New Testament
Mark 10: 27 all things are possible. Luke 8:50 Jairus daughter healed.
Luke 9:16 and 17 Five loaves and two fish.
Luke 13: 10 -17 crippled woman healed on the sabbath.
Matthew 14.Mark 6, Luke 9, John 6, John 11 Lazarus raised from the dead. All four gospels !!!
Acts 5:12 – 17 Many were healed.