Luke said, “Put your finger right here.”
JANUARY 31, 2022
Luke said, “Put your finger right here.” And I’ll explain, on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace. Grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth, that’ll make you free. Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great weekend and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you are just joining us, we’re studying the book of Acts. It’s the story of the early church, and it’s an amazing story. And we’re up to the ninth chapter of Acts and we’re looking at miracles. And the question before the house, do they really happen? Did they really happen? And do they really happen today? And the answer is yes, yes and yes, but there are some details attached and we’re going to get to those. Before we do on Mondays, it’s our practice to pray before we study. So, let’s do that. Father, we come into your presence, so thankful for your word. For the truth that you revealed and for the way you have revealed it in a way that we can study it and apply it and live it. You’re a good God in every way and that’s just another one. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast, you know the stuff that is really hard, you know the tears, you know the lost, you know the pain. But you also know the laughter and the joy, the reality of walking in your presence. Father, you’re our God, whether it’s tears or laughter or pain or joy, and we praise you and we worship you. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins, they call him Reverend and he’s not. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Let’s look at the text one more time. Now, if you were listening last week, we saw what Luke’s doing here. It really does seem kind of funny. My publisher would have edited this so that everything fit differently. It was Steinbeck who said to his editor, where were you in when the page was blank? Well, Luke is being led by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is in charge of this thing. And better than any editor that you can assign to Dr. Luke, as he writes his story of the early church, but everything is going fine. And then all of a sudden he stops. And he begins to deal with the apostle Paul and we have done that too. The apostle Paul is very important, but now Luke having said, put your finger here and we’re going to come back to the story, the history, his story. We’re going to come back to that, but I want to stop. And it’s important that you know about apostle Paul, what happened to him on the road, when he was struck down blind, how he scared the spit out of the Christians because before then he was persecuting them. And that story gets told and in a magnificent way. And we’ve spent a lot of time, dealing with that story. But now Luke says, come on, let’s get back to where we were before I told you to put your finger there while we talked about the apostle Paul. And so at the 32nd verse of the 9th chapter of Acts, this is what Luke writes.
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who live at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise up, make your bed.” And immediately he arose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or gazelle. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and she died, and when they had washed her and laid her in an upper room. Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” so Peter Rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room.
You’ve got to remember that’s where the corpse was.
All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with him. But Peter put them all outside, knelt down and prayed; and then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat
I lost my place. Look, I’m an old guy doing the best he can. Okay.
He gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and the widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in jumbo for many days with one Simon, a tanner.
You know, one of the things you notice about reading Scripture are the details, C.S. Lewis said.
I write fiction. I know fiction. This is not fiction. This is fact.
And, you know, why would Luke say he stayed with a tanner? That’s a detail that references the reality of the history that is being reported in the book of Acts. But nevertheless, we have two miracles and they are something else. Now we, if you were listening last week, we talked about that and the first thing we saw was that Christians don’t perform miracles, Jesus does, that’s verse 34.
Jesus Christ says you are healed.
Aeneas, got up from his bed, made it up and walked out of the room after being paralyzed all those years. And, that’s a cool, cool thing, but remember that people don’t do it, Jesus does it. You would think sometimes that the healing evangelist are the ones that are doing the healing and people line up to have them touch them. And, it is amazing sometimes what God does despite the heresy that’s going on in that place. Do you remember Kathryn Kuhlman in Pittsburgh? I used to, almost became the pastor one of the major churches in Pittsburgh. And the pastor there had opened his church to Kathryn Kuhlman and her services. And she was a different lady. I think she’s in heaven. I think God used her. Let me tell you why, I was there doing a conference one time and people would come up to me and they’d say, what do you think about Kathryn Kuhlman? She was on radio and television all over the country and people were saying they were healed. And I said, I never heard of Kathryn Kuhlman. And then the people at this conference began to come up to me and tell me how they had received answers to prayers because of the ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman. That’s when I decided she’s funny, but she may be his and I’m going to leave that alone. I’m just not going there. I had, was on a secular radio station in Boston, in those days I made more money than I did working for Jesus, but I have a better retirement plan. At any rate, the secular station after I’d left, turned to, became a religious station and the disc jockey who was working in the afternoon, they were playing a promo for Kathryn Kuhlman. And she talked, if you, some of you, if you’re old enough, you remember this, but Kathryn Kuhlman would say, this is Kathryn Kuuuuuuuhlman, and this disc jockey thought it was a joke and started making fun and said things on the air that you shouldn’t say in that particular context. And one of the things he said was, hi, Kathy baby. And he was fired that afternoon. So, it was a different kind of thing. But at that conference where I was speaking, people came up and one man told me that he had had arthritis for the last 20 years. And it was debilitating had to be in a wheelchair. He said, now I go dancing. And so, as I listened and I watched and talked to people, I began to realize that God still operates and he operates by using people that you wouldn’t have chosen. I mean, I know that for a fact, there are occasions when God even uses me. And frankly, about the church, it’s hard to be a member of an organization that would accept me as a member. So, God uses people, even different people for his purposes. And by the way, that includes you. You think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from Acts 9 about miracles. They happened back then and they still happen now. Good to be reminded of that. By the way, in case you didn’t know. And, I’m not one to assume, we also have a weekly talk radio show, it’s called Steve Brown Etc. And late last year, we spoke with a very smart, very accomplished entrepreneur who has become kind of one of our favorite guests, Jordan Raynor. We spoke with Jordan about a gospel-centric approach to being productive. He also shared some powerful time management lessons from the life of Jesus. It’s not just about getting you all hyped up to do more. It’s more about getting motivated to do our best work in the light of what Jesus has done. Grab your copy of that show on CD for free right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800=539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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