Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Understanding And Applying the Text
This passage is a strong rebuke of Rome’s claims of the primacy of the papacy. Throughout the Bible, God performs miracles for only one of two purposes. There are to either confirm the message or the messenger.
Peter went among all the churches. Rome would have us believe Peter went because he was the chief apostle. They would tell us he needed to check up on all the other apostles. That is neither stated nor implied.
The Papacy today is not established or validated by a miracle. The Pope today does not travel today as Peter did, spreading the Gospel. Pope Francis is more concerned about social change then preaching Christ.
Peter traveled from place to place. He came to the saints at Lydda. Lydda was a city northwest of Jerusalem on the way to Joppa. It was about 10.5 miles southeast of Joppa.
A Lydda there was a paralyzed man. He was paralyzed for eight years. His paralysis confined him to a bed for those eight years.
Peter told the man “Jesus Christ heals you.” We should note, Luke does not say the anointing came upon Peter. There are none of the trappings from today’s Pentecostal movement. Peter did not heal the man. Christ did not move through Peter. The Spirit did not fall on Peter. Peter made a simple announcement He stated what Christ had done. The miracle was not the result of Peter’s work or words. It was not the result of the man’s faith. It was the result of God’s will. Peter did not cause it. The man did not cause it. God caused. it. And God alone. The apostles would never attempt to announce a miracle unless they knew it was God’s will. The Spirit who was the author of all miracles.
Peter’s words are clear. They show he is only the minister of the miracle. It came from Christ’s power. Why did God perform this miracle? This miracle confirmed Peter’s apostleship and the message he preached. There has been no confirmation of the Pope or any other so-called apostles today. They are all false prophets. When they claim to speak for God, they blaspheme His name.
Peter told the man to get up and make his bed. All could see God healed the man.
The translation “make your bed” convey a false idea for modern readers. A pallet or mat would not be ’made’ like a modern bed. The idea may be closer to “straighten” or “rearrange.” The NIV’s “roll up your mat” reflects this better.
Luke tells us all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw the man and turned to the Lord. When scriptures speak like this, it is a metaphor. This is common today. When a team wins a championship, a journalist could report, “The entire city is celebrating.”
We would not say the journalist erred. It is almost certain someone was not rejoicing. There is a high probability the opposing team had a few fans in the city. They would be sad. They would not be celebrating. Someone who had a loved one dying in the hospital would not rejoice.
The same is true when Luke said, “all the residents.” There was a general change in the city. There was a large number who turned to the Lord. The was such a change that it could be said, “all the residents…”
News about the healing had dramatic effects. It traveled to the Plain of Sharon north of Joppa up the coast forty to fifty miles.
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