Miracle Working Power
(Helpful to Sunday School Lesson of February 8, 1920, Acts 9:32–43)
“Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.”
The Acts of the Apostles might be called also “The Acts of the Risen and Seated Christ,” or, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” The things which Jesus had done as He walked on Earth are in this lesson done through faith in Him since the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. It is the same Jesus who is working, the same Jesus who is able to heal today; for He is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
[The author] exhorts us in Hebrews, telling us to follow those who, before him have spoken the Word of God, “Whose faith follow,” he says. Some say that healing is not for this dispensation. It would be well for such as say that healing is a Kingdom blessing and for the Jews, to turn to the 15th chapter of Matthew and read from the 23rd to the 28th verses. It is true that Jesus said to this woman who was not a Jew, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He even went further and said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs;” that is, to take the Jewish or promised Kingdom blessings and pass them out to the Gentiles. But this woman burst the dispensational boundaries with a wonderful sentence,—“Truth, Lord: yet the dogs (or we Gentiles) eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
There is a great warning in this account for those who would draw such sharp lines in dispensational teaching that they shut up the Church age from many of the blessings which are distinctly promised to the Jews. The One who has told us to cast all our burdens upon Him has certainly made provision for casting all our cares upon Him, has certainly made provision to meet the requirements of those cares.
“And turned to the Lord.” God has always been a miracle working God. The Christ who broke the loaves beside the sea performed a miraculous act; but more than that, He performed an act of creation. When He passed five loaves and two fishes to the five thousand, He created something that did not exist. God calls Himself “the God of Isaac.” He is still the God of Isaac, and He uses His miracle working power to turn many to the Lord. He answers prayer regarding financial trouble, domestic trouble, and still works miracles that He might turn men’s eyes to the Gospel and through the Gospel save them, just as “all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron” saw this man with the palsy healed, and turned to the Lord.
“Full of good works.” What an array of medals bespangled this woman’s bosom! Everyone who came near Peter told him of some new thing that she had done. They even laid out the coats and the garments which she had made. What a sweet savor of life had been among them. How delightful must have been her spirit that they should all stand about telling of her good deeds and weeping. She had a rare privilege when she was raised from the dead and found out what her neighbors thought of her. It might not be good for some of us. The shock might return us to our death.
“Peter put them all forth.” There is a splendid suggestion here for praying. We must get alone with God in the great crisis. There is much prayer that can be made in public, and many requests that can only be made in public, for they are public affairs; but there are life and death problems, with which we must meet God alone. Not only must people be away, but things, ambitions and all the things of the flesh, until we are conscious of no one but God.
“Kneeled down, and prayed.” Standing in prayer is biblical also, but it seems when men are in soul agony they kneel. Jesus is mentioned as falling on the ground in Gethsemane. How mighty must have been the prayer of Peter. Paul speaks of bowing his knee to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a humility about that that seems to automatically put God in His place—far above us in our thoughts.
“Presented her alive.” We will do well to stop and contemplate these words. Truly our Jesus has the keys of death and of hell. What a glorious day it will be when we are presented alive to God with new bodies like unto His own glorious body—forever to be with the Lord. Lord hasten that glorious day!