As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed 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.
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda 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!”
Peter 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.
Peter 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. He 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. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
“Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” This is Peter’s command. When we hear of miracle or healing stories in the Bible, our minds typically go to Jesus and his works. Jesus is the miracle worker, the Messiah, the great teacher. But here, we have Peter, healing in the name of Jesus. It’s not blasphemy; it’s truly Christ, working through Peter. Peter isn’t possessed; he is the first ordained apostle of the church. He is the rock on which Christ’s church is built upon (Matt. 16:18) and he is doing as Jesus would do.
Peter is the example meant for us. He had his doubts, he even denied Jesus, yet he goes out and works in Christ’s name. We could all learn from Peter. He is a broken person: there is nothing about Peter that makes him perfect. Yet, Jesus has decided to build his church upon a broken human being; this is what Christ has done with us. We are Peter. We are the broken people that Christ’s church is built upon, and we are capable of helping others, just as Peter. Even in our brokenness and doubt, we are part of the foundation and we are to live out Christ’s call.
God, in our brokenness, you see us. You see our mess and you see that we are capable of doing great things for others. Remind us that we too can be like Peter and be the church, even as broken and doubtful people, and that we are loved, called, and claimed as your people. Amen.