Peter put all of them outside and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Acts 9:40-42
When Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, died they called for Peter to come. Probably none of them had the gift of miracles. Swiftly Peter arrives and puts everyone out of the room where Tabitha’s dead body lies as he wrestles in prayer with God. At the Holy Spirit’s good pleasure, when Spirit indicates the fullness of Christ’s loving healing moment is here, Peter says “get up” or “arise.”
Can we imagine the surprise and astonishment of Tabitha when she returns to her life here? Pulled back from the glory of praise around the Holy Throne of Heaven she returns to the joyful rejoicing of her dear widow sisters who need her. Undoubtedly Tabitha’s service unto our Lord and Savior is even more zealously served.
Like Tabitha, I met Jesus and His instruction to me was to preach. In High School the car had had a tire completely blow off the rim and flipped over three times, injuring us. That time I met with Christ was unmistakably glorious and His Words engraved within my soul. I’m hoping and praying my Biblical witness through preaching says to you to arise and get up into Him.
Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Acts 9:32-35
The end of miracles came with Esther in the Old Testament, and started up with magnificence in Jesus as He is born of a virgin and forgives sins, heals, casts out demons, and gives New Birth to His believers by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is a miracle man and uses Peter to stir up great faith in Aeneas and open his heart to receive Jesus’ miracle. Like Peter, Christ uses you as you speak His words of healing, “Get up…”. Throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) learn from the words that Jesus uses to heal and use His words to speak the Holy Spirit’s healing in Christ’s Name.
The Holy Spirit will give you opportunities, words that are right, and will magnify His power within you so that healing events occur. All Glory be to God our Heavenly Father that this is true! God has made a Way in Jesus Christ for suffering to be relieved, for faith to expand exponentially, and for the Holy Spirit’s love to be manifest in you.
But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, Who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the Name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them to Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord. Acts 27-28
Barnabas the encourager takes Saul to the apostles, Peter and James (Gal. 1:18-19) and declares he or she who has been an enemy to the Truth ought not to be trusted until he or she gives proof that they are changed. They have their proof that Saul is a converted soul by witness Ananias, three years of preaching Christ Resurrected in Damascus, and countless souls saved, Baptized, and integrated into Christian community.
The believers remain under tremendous persecution from the Roman government and Saul continues to be targeted for death by the Romans. The apostles take in Saul, accepting the introduction of Barnabas and affirmation of witnesses. Peter is not yet convinced that Christ is to be offered to the Gentile world but Saul has been given that clear intent by Jesus.
Saul is living with conviction in obedience to Christ our Lord. Unwavering. Unrelenting. The Holy Spirit is motivating him and the Holy Spirit motivates you. Holy Spirit makes you strong when you are weak, clear minded within our Lord’s purpose, and gives you words to speak when you open your mouth to witness in Christ’s love to save souls.
After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill I’m, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but His disciples too him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. Acts 9:23-26
Saul leaves Damascus by the believer’s putting him into a merchandise basket and lowering him down the walls to avoid the plotting Jews wanting to catch him and kill him. Three years later he comes to Jerusalem for a first visit (Gal. 1:15) so Saul’s time with the Christians in Damascus has entailed solidifying friendships in Christ, fueled by the Holy Spirit preaching in the synagogue, listening and learning from Jesus, and heartfelt conviction to his purpose to preach to the Gentiles the victory of Christ’s love.
Were you to set a three year goal to prepare for the purpose in Christ what would you choose? Immersion and learning of the Scriptures, forming Christian oneness in community with Christ’s loving acceptance as foundation, discovering the depth of trusting our Lord to strengthen you in faith to go forward each day, or would it be all of these and added to these the practice of solitary and community prayer that is like the rudder on a boat. Trust in Christ as you are readied for something next.
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He IS the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked This Name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah. Acts 9:19-22
Our proclamation after our conversion is, “Jesus is Lord!” “Son of God!” “Savior!” It is such with Saul whom, known for his evil persecution of Christians, others amazingly see with complete turnabout. Jesus has said, “Pray for your enemies,” and the believers have obediently been on their knees and had heads bowed in prayer in the marketplace for Saul’s conversion.
No one is beyond hope of conversion. There is not one soul on this good earth that Jesus is not pursuing, that the Holy Spirit is not speaking with deep down in their souls, and who is able to outstep our God’s sight nor His Power. Bow your head in prayer for your enemies and the fruits of your prayers will take hold in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Here is Saul ‘proving’ that Jesus is Messiah by speaking the Word unashamed, in anointing for healing, and through the Holy Spirit’s living witness to fearlessly proclaim that the Lord and Savior has knocked him off his high horse and he repented. Heaven is rejoicing, believers are supporting him in Damascus, and Holy Spirit is advocating and directing him.
So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Acts 9:17-19
With the laying on of Ananias’ hands the Holy Spirit powerfully moves to heal Saul of the blindness he experienced when Christ gripped him in his sins after falling off of his high horse. It has been three days of conversion and transformation in Christ for Saul. Saul now brilliantly sees the Kingdom of Christ within him and he knows it in others as the Holy Spirit shows him all things.
Baptism is the outward sign of the inward Holy Spirit cleansing of sin given by the blood of Christ on the Cross. Christ died on the Cross for Saul and He died on the Cross for you. Yes, Christ had you in mind as he died, then arose from the dead. For, just like Saul the Holy Spirit grips your sins and relieves you of sin’s decay when you humble yourself in Christ.
Christ’s love for you is His all in all. He desires that you take up His Cross and follow Him, learn all that you can from Him, and be obedient each day and even unto death with Him. It is with Christ you find the greatest inner joy of living that you’ve ever known, an abundance of guidance by the Holy Spirit, and tremendous restored confidence in His purpose for your life– all within His love for you!
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” Acts 9:10-12
Notice here that the Lord is speaking to Ananias in a vision by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Ananias does not think he’s dreaming, he’s off his rocker, nor does he believe that he is seeing an apparition. He is a believer and Christians know the Lord when the Lord speaks to us. “Here I am, Lord,” is immediate. This response is readiness!
Then the Lord gives a detailed description of what he is to do. Yet when Ananias hears that he is to go to Saul of Tarsus, he responds that he has heard about this evil man who has authority to bind all who invoke Christ’s Name. The Lord says, “Go for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring My Name before the Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I Myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name.” Do as I command, Jesus says, and I will take care of the rest.
And so it is revealed to Ananias and to us. How great a dignity Saul has been chosen for! Called on to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ, to serve Him in loving obedience, to offer Christ to the Gentiles, and to witness to Israel Jesus Christ is Lord!
Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:8-9
For three days Saul is in the grip of New Birth in Jesus Christ. Three days Saul relived his sins and listened to The Voice speak to him. Jesus tells us of New Birth in John 3:3, “No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” New Birth is the transformation of the entire soul by the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit.
Scales had grown over Saul’s eyes, done by the Almighty Power of God, which not only aligned him with the state of blindness to Jesus’ Way but his blindness also turned his thoughts inward to Christ, as he was less capable of conversing with others. Saul’s fasting.
His blindness was a outward manifestation of what had happened to him. God has humbled him and is showing correction to the stiff necked Jews who put Stephen to death. For we see here the necessary elements of the New Birth: our complete humbling, the inward shake down of sins, and the powerful fire of the Holy Spirit that consumes sins by the blood of the Lamb Jesus slain on the Cross.
Now as Saul was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a Voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard The Voice but saw no one. Acts 9:3-7
When God suddenly and mightily attacks a sinner it is with the highest act of mercy. Mercy is ours through Jesus Christ for with our sins we may deter others. His attack of mercy may fell us just like Saul who falls to the ground of his guilt. The Lords Voice within our souls may be severe yet that Voice is full of grace while He rights us in Him.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Thus when Saul’s rage against believers comes to height then our Lord powerfully acts, teaching him not to breathe threats and murder. Saul is halted. His is inexpressible terror by light and Jesus speaking to him. Light from heaven flashes. Jesus speaks within their hearts and souls.
The men traveling with Saul now stand for they too were felled to the ground of guilt. It is Jesus’ grace that fells, redeems, then teaches the believer. Jesus next sends Saul to a Damascus believer who will guide him in New Birth. For with New Birth we need a believer’s help and assistance who is Spirit led, Spirit fed, and Spirit sped (quickened).