Acts 9:40

More mormon stuff on display. Supposedly heroic march out to find the promised land and etc.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Acts 9:40

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse spoke of the widows weeping and showing to Peter the tunics and garments that Tabitha (Dorcas) had made. With that, the words of this verse are given. The NKJV does not do a great job with the verbs, so Young’s translation will be used. It says –

“And Peter having put them all forth without, having bowed the knees, did pray, and having turned unto the body said, ‘Tabitha, arise;’ and she opened her eyes, and having seen Peter, she sat up.”

With that noted, it says, “And Peter having put them all forth without.” Peter excused those who were in the room in order to have his full attention devoted to the matter at hand. Jesus did this with the young girl as is recorded in Matthew 9:25, but we see in Mark 5 that the parents, Peter, James, and John were with Him. This is also confirmed in Luke 8. In this case now, however, Peter is alone. From there, it says, “having bowed the knees.”

After having solitude, he takes a position of humility before the Lord. There is no arrogance or pretentiousness in him. Rather, he is as one who is seeking the Lord from the heart and in a state of reverence. With that, it says he “did pray.” In the account of the girl from the gospels, Jesus simply spoke forth His words, and the girl was raised. In John 11, at the raising of Lazarus, Jesus prayed to the Father, but it was an open prayer intended to be heard for others to perceive and understand the intimacy that exists between the Father and the Son as well as the authority that the Son possessed.

Peter yielded himself to God through prayer, not claiming any authority of his own. With that, it next records, “and having turned unto the body said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’” Though recorded in Greek, these would have been the same words as spoken by Jesus in Mark 5. He said, “Talitha cumi,” meaning, “Little girl, arise.” Peter would surely have spoken Aramaic and said, “Tabitha, cumi.” The closeness of the words is remarkable but coincidental. Next, after Peter’s spoken words, it says, “and she opened her eyes.”

As dead people do not open their eyes, the miracle that was hoped for has been realized. She is brought back to life by the power of God and through the petition of Peter. With that noted, the verse finishes with, “and having seen Peter, she sat up.”

Not only was she brought back to life, but she was also brought back to a state of vigor that allowed her to rise up on her own. The power of God is realized in the miracle.

Life application: Peter’s words, “Tabitha, arise,” were words of confidence. This is the same person who asked to come out to the Lord on the raging waters of the Sea of Galilee. There it said –

“So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” Matthew 14:29, 30

Peter took his eyes off the Lord and looked at the dangers surrounding him. His faith faltered, and he began to sink. In this account, Peter removed the distractions of the women and their sadness and focused on the Lord through prayer.

We can, and should, learn from this. Hebrews 12:2 implores us to fix our eyes on Jesus. If we don’t do this, we will be ineffective in what we determine to do as believers because we will always be distracted by the things of the world. When our eyes are set on Jesus, our attention is likewise going to be set on Him. And when that is the case, our priorities and our determination will be properly focused. May we consider this all the days of our lives. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus!

Lord God, even the most confident of us are just one step away from sinking among the raging waves of life if we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus. But with Him as our focus, we can be confident that the path we are taking is correct, and that it will lead to the right and proper end. What happens along the way is temporary and will pass, but the goal on which we focus – Jesus our Lord – is eternal joy in His presence. Help us to remember this all our days. Amen.