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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peter Heals a Palsied Man at Lydda

Last weekend I was watching a video clip of a Pastor doing the rather expected task of preaching a little and singing 'Victory in Jesus'. Certainly, that is not headline news, save for the fact that this preacher, a man named 'Ring' had lived with cerebral palsy, a debilitating motor disease , preventing normal smooth motor functions such as easy speech and limb movement. By the time many with cerebral palsy are in their 30s, they cannot speak and movement may be exaggerated and contorted.

This preacher though, was remarkable, in that while he took a little extra time, he spoke with articulation and sang one of the best renditions of the song I had ever heard---a great feat since we have all heard it a thousand times! Why could this man, at his age preach a very fine sermon and sing with an anointing, when his counterparts afflicted by the same condition could do very little? The main difference was the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Yshua HaMeschiach.

In the book of Acts, right after Saul is met on the road to Damascus, right after Ananias heals the blindness of the great soldier of God who will come to be, right after spiritual blindness is healed by the Light of the World, there is a description of a lesser known healing of a man named Aeneas, by Peter, the apostle holding the keys to the Kingdom.

Aeneas was stricken with Palsy, and had been 8 years in bed in the town of Lydda. Lydda, meaning 'strife', is about 9 miles south of Joppa, where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner. (formerly called Diopolis under Roman rule). The Book of Acts does not give a great deal of information about Aeneas or his condition but does say:

Act 9:33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.

Eight years is a long time in any condition which imprisons a person, whether it is a disease or not, but in moments, the seemingly uncurable ailment is a thing of the past.

9:34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: Arise and make thy bed.

Note that Peter mentions two names immediately: Aeneas' name, and the name of Jesus Christ. He doesn't go into a discourse of 'how the whole process works', or even quote scriptures supporting the doctrine of healing, but post haste says the following:

1. Aeneas (called by name)
2. Jesus Christ (calling on The Name)
3. Maketh thee whole ('the thing is done', Jesus makes whole)

We spoke about wholeness much earlier in studying healing: a person who is ill, possessed, or a person in some physical or other earthly or spiritual 'distress' is a person who in some part of their lives are not 'whole' not 'statis'. One is brought back to wholeness in healing, and here it is by calling on the NAME of the Lord Jesus.

The second part of the verse, is the COMMAND following healing.

Arise and make thy bed

The word 'Arise' or rise, is used often in healings or commands by either Jesus or his disciples. The word arise is anistemi: which can mean anything from 'get up or stand up to 'come back to life', but it is an 'enlivening' from a static state. What a remarkable word, 'arise' is to some one who has been encumbered by palsy for 8 years---even more remarkable is the command to do a mundane but heretofore impossible task: make thy bed. Peter via Jesus restores the man to normal life, where one rises up and makes his bed, and carries it and goes about his business. The obedience is immediate:

9:35 And he arose immediately And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned toward the Lord.

We said before that healing is to pronounce the Gospel: the Good News, that God has not only not forgot his covenants with Israel but has come to fulfull them, and that the power of God through healing and miracles is not only not gone from the earth, but is at the hand of the Lord, to point the way to the greatest healing: Salvation. The gospel and healing brings Repentance, and many, as in other healings in Acts, turn to the Lord.

The Sum of Aeneas' Healing

Here then is the sum of the healing of Aeneas by Peter:

1. Peter enters into Lydda and encounters Aeneas, 8 years with palsy.
2. Peter calls Aeneas' name
3. Peter names 'THE NAME' of Jesus,
4. Peter points to Jesus making Aeneas whole
5. Peter through the Holy Ghost commands "Arise...and make thy bed"
6. Aeneas immediately obeys
7. Two towns see him and turn to the Lord. (Lydda and Saron)

Healing is for the Gospel and the gospel for healing. It is only through Salvation that we are made totally whole.

by ekbest09
2. 84.