We are leaving the focus on Saul for a bit and peeking in on Peter. He has been busy sharing the gospel in many different areas of Judea. Today’s story comes from a visit he made to Lydda. It is North West of Jerusalem, nearing the Mediterranean Sea.
The first thing I noticed about this story is that Peter got out of Jerusalem and ministered directly to the people, both near and far. He didn’t stay in Jerusalem and wait for the new converts to come to him. He also didn’t think himself above interacting with the regular people. “Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (verse 32).
The next thing that got my attention was Aeneas himself. He had been paralyzed for eight years but he wasn’t a beggar. He was well known, both on sight and by his condition. He may have accepted his condition and learned to live his life in spite of it. We are not told he was even seeking healing when it came his way.
I also believe Aeneas was among the saints or at least connected with them in some way. As Aeneas had not left his bed in eight years, Peter had to be the one to come to him. It is quite probable that Peter was in Aeneas’ family’s home, meeting with some of the saints. This would explain how Peter “found” him. During this home visit Peter brought an unexpected gift to Aeneas; Jesus’ healing power.
Although Aeneas hadn’t sought out Peter or his help, he certainly didn’t turn it down. He responded immediately to Peter’s instructions, having FULL faith in the healing power of Jesus’ name. That power didn’t stop at simply returning movement back to Aeneas’ body but function as well. Aeneas received a complete restoration of his health, including strength in his legs. No therapy needed.
Aeneas didn’t keep this miracle to himself either. He went out into his town and surrounding area sharing what Jesus had done for him through Peter. This got EVERYONE’S attention and they turned to the Lord. One single miracle increased the faith of the whole region. Talk about being used by God! There were already believers there but now the evidence of Jesus’ love and power spread like wildfire to those who knew Aeneas’ history.
Father God, Your word is full of amazing gifts of love that You bestow on us. None of us earned those gifts or in any way deserve them. But You give them to us anyway. I wish I had the faith of the apostles and the early church when it comes to healing. You know my shortcomings in this area. I fully believe You still heal just as miraculously today as You did that day. I simply haven’t seen it with my own eyes. I’m grateful for those who have. They help my faith. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.