28 Sat Apr 2007
Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
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, â€œAeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!â€ And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, â€œPlease come to us without delay.â€ So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, â€œTabitha, get up.â€ 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.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, â€œThis teaching is difficult; who can accept it?â€ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, â€œDoes this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.â€ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, â€œFor this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.â€ Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, â€œDo you also wish to go away?â€ Simon Peter answered him, â€œLord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.â€
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.