The Healing of Aeneas
 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.  There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed.  And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose.  And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Dorcas Restored to Life
 Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.  In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.  Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.”  So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.  But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.  And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.  And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.  And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. (ESV)
- Like Jesus, like disciple
This story in Acts reads like a retelling of two of Jesus’ miracles found in the Gospels (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56). Jesus healed a woman who had been sick for twelve years, then brought a young girl back to life. In Acts, Peter healed a man who had been sick for eight years and then brought a dead woman back to life. Luke’s point seems to be that Jesus is continuing his work through his people. The similarities in the stories indicate that Jesus is at work through Peter. Remember that Jesus promised his disciples that they would do even greater works (John 14:12).
- Wonders and faith
The wonders, signs, and miracles in Acts are never an end in themselves. Rather, they serve to validate the claims and teaching of the Apostles as they establish the doctrine of the early Church. Additionally, they play a vital role in the initial conversions of various communities. As God’s power is demonstrated through an Apostle in a particular region, the message is then believed and the mission moves forward (Acts 9:35 & 42).
- Resuscitation vs. resurrection
While there have been miraculous healings mentioned in Acts thus far, this is the first instance of a dead person being brought back to life. It is a common mistake to call a miracle like this a resurrection story. Resurrection is far more than a return to life from death. Resurrection entails the giving of a new body that is immortal in nature (1 Corinthians 15:42-43). Only Jesus has experienced resurrection and received a new immortal body. The story of Tabitha in Acts is an example of resuscitation. She was dead, and her close friends knew it. Her situation appeared totally hopeless. However, some disciples reached out to Peter, knowing that, as an Apostle, God had done great and amazing things through him. By God’s power, Tabitha was brought back to life. Though not immune to the sorrows and ailments of life, she was granted more years of faithful service and acts of mercy. And consequently, many in Joppa believed in Jesus.
- Take a moment to read one of the miracle stories listed in the first point above. What similarities do you see between Jesus’ miracle and Peter’s? What differences do you find?
- What is the functional purpose of miracles in the book of Acts? How can we pervert the purpose of miracles and miss the point?
- Why do you think we do not see miracles as frequently today as the early Church did in Acts?
Call to Worship
Let Us Go to the House of the LORD
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!
 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together,
 to which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
 There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
 Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
 For my brothers and companions’ sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good. (ESV)
Prayer of Confession
Almighty God, You have raised Jesus from death to life, and crowned Him Lord of all. We confess that we have not bowed before Him, or acknowledged His rule in our lives. We have gone along with the ways of the world, and failed to give Him glory. Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be Your faithful people, obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who rules the world and is head of the Church, His Body. In His name we pray, amen.
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources are tools for families to use to help connect Sunday’s sermon to the rest of your week, fostering conversations and habits of worship.