The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Acts 9:36-43 tells us of the disciple Tabitha, also called dorcas. After spending years making clothing for the poor and doing other charitable deeds, she has died. Other Christians, realizing that Peter is in a nearby town, send for him, asking him to come right away. Peter comes, prays for the woman, and she returns to life. As we have seen before, this brings attention to the grace of God throughout the region. Peter remains in the nearby town of Joppa, staying with a tanner, also named Simon.
When the people are in need, they call on an apostle. The assumption is that the apostles are uniquely able to bring help and comfort. God defends that belief, by frequently using the apostles in miraculous ways. Notice that the miracle Peter performs here restores a lady’s ability to live a life glorifying God and serving her neighbors. God’s healing often brings grace to others.
While God works through the apostles, we can also see that these miracles are not to bring glory, honor, power, and even wealth to the apostles. In many modern contexts Christian leaders seem intent on showing that they are remarkable. They want people to follow them and bring them fame and wealth. Not so with the apostles. These men are intent on bringing glory and honor to Jesus.
When Peter stays in Joppa, he stays with a tanner. Due to the nature of the work with dead animals, a tanner would not be held in high regard in society. He is routinely ceremonially unclean. He has a dirty and smelly occupation. He would live on the outskirts of town and the outskirts of society. Yet Peter stays with the tanner. He does not seek special privilege as an apostle, but is content to stay in humble surroundings. This also can be an example to us.
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