Audio available from May 5, 2013 - Acts 9:32-43 "Imitating Jesus results in more Jesus-Followers"
In this remarkable account of the healing of Aeneas (a paralyzed man) and Dorcas (a woman who is dead for several hours before Peter shows up!), we find Peter imitating Jesus in a striking way. In both instances of healing, he uses almost exactly the same words as Jesus uses in Mark 2 and Mark 5 respectively where we find very similar miracles recorded. As we observe the response to these miracles of healing in Acts 9 we realize that many people turn to follow Jesus and so we discern that these people are turning to follow Jesus as a result of Peter's imitation of Jesus. This, in fact, is how the kingdom of God has spread throughout the world over the last 2000+ years! People thinking and acting like Jesus draws people around to turn and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We further discover a beautiful 'story within a story' in this text! Dorcas (Tabitha) is also one who imitates Jesus but on a much less dramatic scale. Her ministry to widows was also 'Jesus-like' and resulted in many widows finding Jesus. The response from our hearts is twofold - first we ought to celebrate the expansion of the kingdom of God by this means - still today people all over the world are being drawn to faith as we imitate Jesus in our words, attitudes and actions. Secondly, we should take this as a challenge into our lives to be sure that in increasing measure our lives do reflect the life and values of Jesus. How does this happen? Not by trying harder through our own strength, but by increasingly loving Him more, spending time with Him and His Word and His people. May we become people who increasingly become like Jesus and may this result in many people around us also turning and finding true life in Jesus!
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