Restored to Life
Main point: When God turns things around, people turn to Christ.
1. The actions of Peter encouraged the believers in Lydda to be faithful
2. The miraculous restoration of Tabitha publicized the gospel message in Joppa.
“The miracles which happen in Lydda and Joppa in the context of Peter’s missionary work confirm that He, like the other apostles, are Jesus’ representatives whose missionary ministry is evidence for the ongoing restoration of Israel, for the visible presence of the time of salvation, and for the effective reality of God’s power.”
- David Platt, Exalting Jesus in the Book of Acts
“Maybe the best picture for us to have of the Christian life where Jesus breaks in with power to turn things around is the picture of flying in the eye of a hurricane. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with winds above 75 miles an hour that builds to tremendous force and can destroy almost anything in its way. It is a frightening thing to stand in the way of a hurricane. But the Columbia Encyclopedia says, "By contrast the hurricane eye is almost calm, experiences little or no precipitation, and is often exposed to blue sky."
So when Luke says (in verse 31) the church walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, I picture them flying in the eye of a hurricane of divine power. There is calm and peace within and the blue sky of hope overhead.
What then should we do? Rest in the eye of his love and care. Be on the alert in your life and in the world for amazing inbreakings of Christ’s kingdom might to turn things around. Let there be in your life an open-ended expectancy that Jesus is going to act. He is going to turn things around. And when he does be prepared to respond.” - John Piper
32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36 Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 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.” 39 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. 40 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. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then 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 he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. (ESV)