Sunday: At Lydda and Joppa

Peter was visiting the Christian communities through the coastal region of Judea. His purpose was probably to give them doctrinal instruction (Acts 2:42), but God used him powerfully to perform miracles in the same fashion as those performed by Jesus Himself.

Read Acts 9:32-35. What similarities do you see in the miracle of Jesus in Luke 5:17-26 and the healing of Aeneas?

Tabitha Raised

Image © Providence Collection

Despite the brevity of the account, the miracle reminds us of the well-known story of the Capernaum paralytic healed by Jesus (Luke 5:17-26). Even the detail about the bed is similar. More important, however, was the impact of Aeneas’s cure, not only in Lydda but also in the coastal plain of Sharon. Having verified for themselves the reality of the miracle, many people turned to the Lord.

Read Acts 9:36-43. Review the story of Tabitha’s resurrection. What was so special about her?

Tabitha—the Aramaic for “gazelle” in Greek, Dorcas—was a believer very dear in her neighborhood because of her works of Christian charity. The story of her resurrection also parallels a miracle performed by Jesus, the resurrection of Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:41-42Luke 8:49-56), which Peter had witnessed. Following Jesus’ example, he asked everybody to leave the room (see Mark 5:40). Then he knelt down and prayed, after which he called to the dead woman, ”Tabitha, get up” (Acts 9:40, NRSV).

The apostles performed many miracles; yet, in fact, these were God’s actions through the apostles’ hands (Acts 5:12). The similarities with Jesus’ own miracles were perhaps to remind the church, including us today, that what matters most is not so much who the instrument is but the measure of his/her surrender to God (see John 14:12). When we fully allow God to use us for the gospel’s cause, great things can happen. Peter not only resurrected Tabitha, but the miracle also led to many conversions in Joppa (Acts 9:42).

Some people think that if only they could see a real miracle, such as what happened here, then they would believe. And though at times miracles helped lead some people to faith, the Bible is filled with stories of those who saw miracles and still didn’t believe. On what, then, should our faith be based?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons