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Peter, Aeneas and Tabitha (Acts 9)

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Acts 9


The conversion of Saul
But Saul, yet breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked from him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, it came to pass, that he drew near to Damascus; and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven. 4 And he fell upon the earth and heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? 5 And he said: Who are you, Lord? And he said: I am Jesus, whom you persecute. 6 But rise and enter into the city, and you shall be told what you must do. 7 And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 And Saul arose from the earth, and when his eyes were opened he saw nothing, and they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.
   10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him: Arise and go to the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For he prays, 12 and he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem, 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon your name. 15 But the Lord said to him: Go your way. For he is a chosen vessel to me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake.
   17 And Ananias departed, and entered into the house; and laying his hands on him, said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road upon which you travelled, has sent me, that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized. 19 And he took food and was strengthened, and was several days with the disciples that were at Damascus.

Saul zealously preaches the Gospel
   20 And immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God. 21 And all that heard him were amazed, and said: Is this not he that in Jerusalem made havoc of those that called on this name? And he had come here for this intent, that he might bring them bound before the chief priests. 22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the real Christ.
   23 And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel together to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul; and they watched the gates day and night that they might kill him. 25 But his disciples took him by night and lowered him down the wall in a basket.
   26 And when he came to Jerusalem, he decided to attach himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them going in and going out at Jerusalem, 29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord; and he spoke and disputed against the Greek speaking Jews, and they that were seeking to kill him. 30 And when the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him to Tarsus.
31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

Peter cures people
   32 And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all regions, he came also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda. 33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him: Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed. And immediately he rose. 35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
   36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 And as Lydda was near to Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him: Come to us without delay. 39 And Peter rose and went with them. And when he had arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood by him, weeping and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made, while she was with them. 40 But Peter sent them out, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, rise. And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. 43 And it came to pass, that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon a tanner.


9:3 Paul asks us to see his conversion as typical of that of us all (1 Tim. 1:16). The blinding light of Christ has also shone in the darkness of our hearts (2 Cor. 4:6).

9:5 Persecute me- Jesus is His church; we are baptized into the body of Christ. What is done to us is done to Him.

9:15 God calls the most unexpected people to Him; it’s not for us to judge whom He might call.

9:18 Baptism is the assumed immediate first step to be taken by someone who believes in Christ and has repented.

9:20 People typically expect a forgiven person to be quiet for some time before they openly serve God. But God’s forgiveness is immediate; He is quick and eager to forgive and work with people, and we should be likewise.

9:27 We must be open minded to how God may be working. We must allow people the chance of repentance, be prepared to accept that they really have changed, and that God is willing to use them. It may be that we have to persuade other believers of this, just as Barnabas did. Ananias also had to learn the same lesson.

9:40,41 This incident of healing a woman called Tabitha has many similarities with the way Jesus healed a woman called Talitha (Mk. 5:41,42). Peter remembered the actions, body language, attitudes and words of Jesus which he had witnessed during His ministry- and replicated them in his life. This is what we should do- read the Gospels and absorb the spirit of Christ, and apply it in our lives, so that we act like Him.

9:43 Tanners were despised by Jews because they dealt with blood and the skins of unclean animals, and had to live separately from society, on the edge of towns and villages. It was just these types of people who were attracted to and accepted Christianity. It’s the same today, in essence.