Now it happened that Peter, in the course of travelling about among them all, came to God’s people living at Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas who had been bed-ridden for eight years through paralysis. Peter said to him “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and make your bed.”
He got to his feet at once. And all those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. (Acts 9:32-35)
In this little vignette, which wastes no time on getting into the action, what’s wonderful to me is what we can see, ie. what’s right there in front of us, and what we can’t see, ie. what’s happening in the heart and mind of Peter, as he follows his Friend, his Teacher, Jesus.
So, first, for us, what is plain here, and can’t be missed? That Simon Peter roves through the world, just like Jesus did, and occasionally comes to rest with particular groups of people; that, there, finding a man constrained by debilitating physical ailment, Peter knows that he may, in the name of Jesus, heal that man; and that that man is healed and, at the preposterous news of such supernatural activity spreading, two whole towns come to believe.
Can we agree on everything I’ve just recapped?
Now here’s what we can’t see and can only wonder about: What was it like for Peter to be led daily by the Presence of his once-bodily Friend? Why and how has he been particularly led to Lydda? What was it like for Peter to simply know that Aeneas was a man who the Lord Jesus wanted to heal on this exact day? Did he pray before or did he just know? In essence, what was it like for Peter to live out a day – any old day of his life – with Jesus?
It was absolutely the same as how it can be for you.
Listen to Peter himself, by now an old man, as he addresses the question of what’s available to us, and how much we might walk as he walked with Jesus:
“Simon Peter, a servant and messenger of Jesus Christ, sends this letter to those who have been given a faith as valuable as ours in the righteousness of our God, and savior Jesus Christ. May you know more and more of grace and peace as your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord grows deeper. He has by his own action given us everything that is necessary for living the truly good life, in allowing us to know the one who has called us to him, through his own glorious goodness. It is through him that God’s greatest and most precious promises have become available to us men, making it possible for you to escape the inevitable disintegration that lust produces in the world and to share in God’s essential nature.” (2 Peter 1:1-4)
That’s Peter, right-hand man of Jesus, telling you that you have everything that you need already. Oh, will we believe it?