Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Powerful Pastoral Visit

Acts 9:32-35
As Peter travelled about the country, he went to visit the Lord's people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralysed and had been bedridden for eight years. 'Aeneas,' Peter said to him, 'Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.' Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. (NIVUK)

Peter had visited Samaria to affirm the new believers in their faith, and see for himself what God was doing among people who were not regarded as true Jews. But most of his time was spent in Jerusalem and the towns of Judea, like Lydda, teaching Jews who had believed in Jesus. Lydda was north-west of Jerusalem at the foot of the hills above the coastal plain of Sharon about 15 miles from the sea-port of Joppa (Jonah 1:1-3). A church had been formed there and needed apostolic instruction.

We do not know if Aeneas, a bed-ridden cripple, was already a believer or not. Certainly he would not have been able to visit Jerusalem at Pentecost. Peter took pity on the man, and the Holy Spirit inspired Him to announce what Jesus was going to do. In the same way as Peter had been instrumental in the healing of the crippled beggar by the Temple gates (Acts 3:1-8), he now commanded the man to get up and take his bed-mat home – because Jesus Christ was healing him.

The man's faith was seen in his obedience – it always is. Getting up quickly, after eight years of inactivity, would naturally have been impossible even for a man who was not paralysed. But Jesus provided strength and muscle power as well as fully functioning nerves to control the muscles. It was a miracle which God used to alert many other people to the authority of the living Lord Jesus Christ and the authenticity of Peter's apostleship (2 Corinthians 12:12). The powerful evidence of the sovereignty of Jesus was compelling, and many more people were saved.

Like Peter, we never know what opportunities for proclaiming Jesus are ahead of us every day. It may be a situation we have encountered before, and the Lord is training us to develop a ministry in His Name. It may be something totally outside our experience (as Peter would find when he reached Joppa - Acts 10:9-23). But the wonder of belonging to Jesus is knowing that wherever we go He wants to use us, so that others will discover how awesome He is, and put their trust in Him. Keep alert. Ask the Lord to show You what He is doing and how you can work with Him - at work as well as in the home, with friends and with the church.

Heavenly Father. Thank You that You are already at work and that You want me to work with You. Forgive me for the times I have treated my faith as just a personal comfort instead of seeing how I can serve You. Please help me to be alert for the opportunities You are setting up for me to be Your obedient servant. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Bible Book: 

© Dr Paul Adams